Photo by Sascha Vaughn
There was a time when ballet was the purview of Imperial Russia, when ballerinas Russianized their names from Lilian Marks and Hilda Munnings to Alicia Markova and Lydia Sokolova. Like a certain Norma Jeane Mortenson, the dancers knew their down-home monikers lacked the authenticating glamour of a Slavic pedigree. There was a time when every ballerina was a diva who radiated an individual gleam in the anonymity of the firmament. There was a time when balletomanes went to watch over-the-top personalities rather than over-the-puddle pas de chats. Bay Area audiences won't need to commandeer a time machine, to return to days of yore, when Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo comes to Zellerbach Hall on March 25.
Yes, they're an all-male comedy ballet troupe doing send-offs of classical ballets in full tutu-ed and pointe-shod regalia since 1974. But they are also, in the words of their artistic director Toby Dobrin, at heart a "dusty overblown Russian touring company that doesn't exist anymore."More »