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The "Trocks" in NYC: Lashes, Tutus and Extra-Large Pointe Shoes

The New York City-based ballet company "Les Ballets de Trockadero de Monte Carlo" kicked off a three-week season of ballet and comedy on Tuesday night, with extra-large pointe shoes poised to crack up audiences. With a spare elbow and some classic prima donna mugging en travesti, the company will perform pieces from ballet repertoire such as "Swan Lake" and Merce Cunningham's seminal "Patterns in Space."

Check out a slideshow of the cast rehearsing a piece from "ChopEniana" below.

Roles traditionally played by women are played by men, but for pieces like "ChopEniana" there is a male part, as well.
Roles traditionally played by women are played by men, but for pieces like "ChopEniana" there is a male part, as well. ( Julia Furlan )
Company members chatting and coaching one another during rehearsal. Accents of every ilk—Spanish, French, Chinese—can be heard on stage.
Company members chatting and coaching one another during rehearsal. Accents of every ilk—Spanish, French, Chinese—can be heard on stage. ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
From below, the costumes and pointe shoes look like those any other ballet company. "We try to stick to original choreography," says Artistic Director Tory Dobrin. "We don't muddle it up too much."
From below, the costumes and pointe shoes look like those any other ballet company. "We try to stick to original choreography," says Artistic Director Tory Dobrin. "We don't muddle it up too much." ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
An impromptu tug-of-war reminiscent of the one that breaks the nutcracker toy in "The Nutcracker Suite."
An impromptu tug-of-war reminiscent of the one that breaks the nutcracker toy in "The Nutcracker Suite." ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
"You've got wigs, you've got lashes, you've got tiaras and earrings and puffs and tutus," says principal dancer Paul Ghiselin (not pictured). "You're in a cocoon."
"You've got wigs, you've got lashes, you've got tiaras and earrings and puffs and tutus," says principal dancer Paul Ghiselin (not pictured). "You're in a cocoon." ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
The company of "Les Ballets de Trockadero de Monte Carlo" in rehearsal at the Joyce Theater.
The company of "Les Ballets de Trockadero de Monte Carlo" in rehearsal at the Joyce Theater. ( Julia Furlan )
"That's the neat thing—discovering roles that you would never otherwise get to do," says Artistic Director Tory Dobrin
"That's the neat thing—discovering roles that you would never otherwise get to do," says Artistic Director Tory Dobrin ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
"It's like being at a party where you're telling a joke and everyone is laughing at it," says Dobrin about the humorous elements.
"It's like being at a party where you're telling a joke and everyone is laughing at it," says Dobrin about the humorous elements.
"They're a tool for me, and I've learned how to use my tool," says principal dancer Gheslin (not pictured) of his pointe shoes.
"They're a tool for me, and I've learned how to use my tool," says principal dancer Gheslin (not pictured) of his pointe shoes. ( Julia Furlan )
Recently, dancers have begun to come to the company already trained on pointe, which was a rarity even 10 years ago, according to company members.
Recently, dancers have begun to come to the company already trained on pointe, which was a rarity even 10 years ago, according to company members. ( Julia Furlan/WNYC )
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