Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Friday 26 September 2008

Tutu much....

My spendy mood the other week also led to my booking a theatre trip - to see the Trocks. I've seen them a few times over the last 20+ years, so I booked for the programme that seemed to have unfamiliar things. I couldn't resist something described as "The underwater scene from The Little Humpbacked Horse", but (shows how much I know) it turns out to be genuinely part of the ballet repertoire, a sort of pre-Nutcracker Christmas treat in Imperial Russia, with dancing jellyfish, no less.

You will gather that this is not for the entirely serious balletomane: a company of - sometimes quite hefty - male dancers performing en travesti to pastiche the conventions and formalities of (mostly) classical ballet. The tone is set by the opening announcements in a heavy cod-Rrrraahsian accent ("Pl-yease to turn aff your mobile ph-yones, or ve vill do it for you."): all the clichés and absurdities of the style are guyed, fixed smiles remaining firmly in place, even as a six-footer is paired with a minuscule support, dancers miss the follow-spot, tread on someone else's toes, steal each other's thunder and so on. But the point is, they do actually do the dance: they really do waft across the stage on point, or do umpteen fouettés (twice in the course of the evening, on this occasion).

The audience was not that different from what you expect at most high-culture events in London. Perhaps slightly more student-y (Sadlers Wells rather than Covent Garden) and a fair smattering of gentlemen who "dance at the other end of the ballroom", and some people who probably know exactly how some of the classics should be danced, to judge from some (to me) inexplicable laughter at some points.

Alternative programme or no, a (traditional) change of programme saw Madame Ida Nevaseyneva giving us her dying swan (again), but I've posted that Youtube clip before - so here's another example of what they can do:

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