Les Ballets Trockadero de monte Carlo | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Dance Critic's Choice

Les Ballets Trockadero de monte Carlo

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Of course the Trocks' big shtick is men dancing women's roles in famous ballets, something they've been doing since 1974. But that's only one of the many transformations they achieve in their affectionate parodies of what is often a very silly art form. Sometimes the transformations are contemporary and cultural: in the blink of an eye a graceful swan will suddenly turn into a scolding black mama, or a shy young girl will show us the Jewish mother lurking behind her coy facade. Then there's the more obvious physical comedy, as when a hunter is chased into the orchestra pit or a cygnet gets out of sync with her fellow swans and ends up playing the fool in a game of crack the whip. The pretensions and evasions of the performing arts are consistently undercut: Rothbart ends his evil swoops around the stage with a great deal of huffing and puffing, and the prince, finding that his hair is in disarray, carefully pats it back into place. At other times these wonderfully athletic, talented men do a remarkable job of transforming themselves into women, so that once again we blink, trying to recapture the moment when this reality turned into another, completely different one. As part of the Auditorium's new "Home for the Holidays Festival," the troupe performs Pas de Quatre, The Dying Swan, Pas de Deux to be Announced, and excerpts from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $15-$40. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-431-2357 for group rates and family passes, and 312-431-2370 for information on other festival events.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Swan Lake photo by Lois Greenfield.

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