New York’s Les Ballets Eloelle to perform in Joburg and Cape Town.
Technical brilliance, tongue-in-cheek humour and a passion for classical and contemporary ballet, is Men in Tutus, soon to be seen on stage in Johannesburg at the The Teatro, Montecasino, and the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
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 – 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.
Trevino, who began his comedic career with Les Ballet Trockadero De Monte Carlo, where he performed almost all he female leads in the repertoire as a principal dancer, adds that it is not only the individual proficiency of the dancers that is impressive.
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!
In Men In Tutus, audiences will meet quite a few interesting characters:
Nina Minimaximova; Victor Trevino: On her third divorce and the toas of Paris, St Petersburg, Tokyo and Long Island. Nina reigned supreme on the stages of the world’s greatest theatres until her forced retirement by jealous detractors and a public with taste. She now occupies the turbaned, sitting roles made famous by ballerinas of a certain age.
Tamara Chilirojo; Alexandre Alguero Alejos: Young of spirit and fresh like fish. She radiates a sense of naiveté with her “Who, me?” countenance and her “Why her?” competitiveness. Detractors have criticized her for still being “green”, but Tamara wants it on record that the condition was long ago cleared up with antibiotics supplied by her Aunt Violet.
Imelda Hardtoes; Carlos Garcia: The former first lady of Philippine dance. Imelda left her homeland under dubious circumstances, but was granted artistic asylum by Les Ballets Eloelle and brings with her a wealth of experience. And 4 532 pairs of designer pointe shoes.
The cast also includes Walter Battistini, Ivan Felix, Jimmy Lumba, Jhonatan Mendez, Victor Maguad, Joel Morris (an ex-South African Ballet Theatre star), Ian Ocampo, Eugene Obille, Shaughn Neil Pegoraro, Joseph Phillips, Tetsushi Segawa and Wataru Tokue.
Men In Tutus
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