Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in full Swan Lake regalia. The all-male drag ballet company returns to Victoria for a sold-out show Feb. 4 at the Royal as part of Dance Victoria’s Dance Days 2020 celebrations. Photo by Sascha Vaughan

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Dance Days 2020, a presentation of Dance Victoria, is bringing two unique and powerful shows to town.

For one sold-out show Feb. 4 at the Royal Theatre, Dance Victoria presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the world’s foremost all-male drag ballet company. “The Trocks,” as they are affectionately called, perform en travesti, donning tutus and pointe shoes playing all the traditional female roles with exceptional ballet technique.

“We don’t want the audience to think we’re women. We’re doing it with a male attack to the ballet world,” says Tory Dobrin, The Trocks’ artistic director.

Playful, silly, exquisitely irreverent, the cast presents their hit Swan Lake Act II, with water sprites, sylphs, princesses and all. The evening’s program also includes Go for Barocco, a parody of Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco; and Dying Swan, the beloved piece first choreographed by Fokine for Anna Pavlova, that explores the inevitable fragility of the ballet dancer body, as agent of artistic expression and workhorse.

This will be a rare dance experience that is sure to surprise and delight.

The language of re-vision

Revisor, choreographer Crystal Pite and actor/writer Jonathon Young’s second collaboration produced by Kidd Pivot, is a re-envisioning of Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 play The Government Inspector, a farce about bureaucracy and control whereby a lowly clerk is mistaken for a high-ranking government inspector.

Dance company Kidd Pivot takes on Revisor, a collaboration between choreographer Crystal Pite and actor/writer Jonathon Young, for two shows at the Royal Theatre Feb. 7 and 8 as part of Dance Victoria’s Dance Days 2020 celebrations. Photo by Michael Slobodian

Revisor utilizes the innovative theatrical language birthed in their incredible first collaboration Betroffenheit, whereby text is presented as voice overs, in this case by some of Canada’s finest actors. Pite explains, “[The dancers] are lip-synching with their whole bodies. The choreography can move analogously with the rhythm of the text and reflect its message, or it can be at odds with it, creating tension between what we’re hearing and what we’re seeing.”

Language as master, as overlord, as overwhelm turn the dancers into marionettes, telling and then ‘re-vising’ or editing the telling through the brilliance of Pite’s signature choreography. In an era of fake news and opinion dressed as fact, Pite’s Revisor presents an opportunity to reflect on the act of storytelling and the myriad influences that underlie narrative.

Any work by Islander-cum-worldwide sensation Pite – characterized as “an image-maker of rare distinction” (The Australian) – is sure to be an evening worthy of our attention.

Revisor with Kidd Pivot plays Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8 (7:30 p.m.) at the Royal Theatre. Tickets are available online at rmts.bc.ca or by phone at 250-386-6121.

Dance Days runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9 at various Victoria venues. Find a full schedule featuring free adult dance classes and workshops, and by-donation and ticketed performances, at dancevictoria.com.

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