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  Friday, September 30, 2022
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The Trocadero de Monte Carlo, New York City's male dancing company, sent the Bolshoi Theatre into side-splitting laughter
It parodied the endeavours of Marius Petipa, George Balanchine and other classic ballet-masters in a saucy travesty of "The Swan Lake" on the Moscow theatre's New Stage. The Bolshoi had never before guffawed like now, remarks the Novye Izvestia, popular Moscow-based daily. The world stage knows instances of men appearing in female parts. The practice is taken quite seriously in the traditional Japanese theatre, the way it was in the Elizabethan-but strapping Afro-Americans impersonating ballerinas of airy grace really deserved Homeric laughter. It is hard to amuse Muscovites with the cygnet pas de quatre now that clowns do it in every circus and, for that matter, Russia now has a ballet company whose male dancers perform female parts-the Mikhailovsky Ballet of St. Petersburg, which does it in dead serious. The Trocadero was nothing like that, with no end of little tricks. Now the Fourth Cygnet was loath to come on stage, and the Third dragged him from behind the scenes, where he had been hiding. Now a page boy was heartily kicking a ballerina who had fallen asleep on stage in a picturesque posture. Now an athletic ballerina made a rock'n'roller stunt or an acrobatic somersault instead of the famous "Swan Lake" fouettes. All that merrymaking came in a crazy contrast to the traditional Romantic scenery, while Tchaikovsky's world-renowned music went to the true-to-life accompaniment of frogs croaking and cicadas chirring away. Laughter roared throughout the three-hour show. None of the stunts was dirty, and none repeated-that mattered, too. To be honest, not the entire audience was pleased. Some staunch ballet-lovers left the theatre with a despondent mien after they bravely sat out the three acts of it, repeating, "How can one make a laughing-stock of the time-tested Russian ballet?" Yet their voices, dejected or furious, were lost in the merry noise of a crowd that was pleased as Punch
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