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Affectionately known as “the Trocks,” Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was founded in New York City in 1974, in the wake of the Stonewall riots. Irreverent and hilarious, the all-male company reimagines modern and classical works by relishing in ballet’s inherent glamour and melodrama. For those brought up in the rigid world of classical dance, the Trocks offer a fresh, joyful perspective. The troupe reclaims ownership of a discipline from which many have historically been excluded based on gender norms and strict physical standards.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo comes with its own tagline: “The World’s Foremost All-Male Comic Ballet Company.” Affectionately known as the Trocks, the company is a small but stalwart corps de ballet that has been “dragging” the classical ballet canon since the mid-1970s, when it got its start performing late-night shows in loft apartments across New York’s Off-Off Broadway circuit. Whether in Harlequinade or Swan Lake, the Trocks use gender-bending performance to place a tight lens on ballet’s inherent theatrics, employing comedy and camp to tease the technical rigor underpinning it all.
As the company commands the stage with pomp and circumstance, it also commands us as audiences — humorously, lovingly — to ponder our assumptions about gender and our collective understanding of who tells the stories we have come to accept as canonical, and how.
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