I am SOOOO going to this! I have watched some videos on Facebook and Les Ballets Eloelle looks like an absolute hoot. It’s guys. In tutu’s and pointe shoes, giving their all to the art of ballet.
“Male ballerina” is usually a term used in error made by a rookie arts writer. However, Les Ballets Eloelle (say it aloud and you’ll get the joke), led by founder, Artistic Director and lead dancer Victor Trevino, features – as one of the few all-male comedy ballet companies in the world – a troupe of such dancers: men dancing roles traditionally reserved for women.
The comedy aspect of “Men In Tutus” – a clever, affectionate parody of the ballet canon, both classical and contemporary via the dancers’ hilarious female personae – never undermines either the challenges of performing the complex choreography or the exceptional results, which make the show so thrilling to watch.
As Trevino explains: “Men do not traditionally train in pointe shoes. We tend to be heavier, with our weight distributed differently to female dancers. Women generally begin training in dancing on pointe when they are young; about 11 years old, while men are not encouraged to do so, as there’s very little opportunity to use that skill in classical dance.”
Trevino, who began his comedic career with Les Ballet Trockadero De Monte Carlo, where he performed almost all the female leads in the repertoire as a principal dancer, adds that it is not only the individual proficiency of the dancers that is impressive.
“Learning to work as partners is another challenge,” he notes. “Dancers in any traditional ballet company will appreciate the difficulties here, but when men partner men, there are several adjustments to make. Again, we must take into account our weight and physicality, but we also need to learn how to be supported or lifted as we move.”
“Men In Tutus” features dancers from the USA, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, Australian, Colombia, the Isle of Wight and Japan, underlining the global appeal of ballet, dance and comedy. This ties in wonderfully with the objectives of Ballet Eloelle, which include: cultivating new audiences for dance through comedy; performing for audiences who may not have access to ballet, and to preserve the integrity and standards of excellence in the ballets they perform so as to educate audiences about the art form.
Of course, whatever the cultural backgrounds and experience of these dancers – who have trained at revered institutions like the New York Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the Royal Swedish Ballet, Berlin State Opera Ballet, the English National Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and the Hong Kong Ballet – they’re also on stage to entertain!
Be dazzled by dancing, delighted by drollness and diverted by divas in drag!
Dates: Friday 12th, to Sunday 14th, April 2019
Time: Friday 8pm; Saturday 3pm and 8pm; Sunday 2pm
Ticket prices: From R200 – R400
Venue: Teatro, Montecasino, Fourways
Dates: Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st April 2019
Time: Thursday 8pm; Saturday 3pm and 8pm; Sunday 2pm
Ticket prices: From R190
Venue: Opera House, Artscape