Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, fondly known as the TROCKS, put on a performance Thursday at 7:30 p.m., delighting audience members with a fresh take on ballet.
The Cultural Attractions Committee (CAC) hosted this sold-out performance at Clarence Brown Theater. The theater was filled with various audience members all eager to see this all-male New York company present playful, entertaining yet classical ballet.
"I go to these things because I like to be surprised. They always bring in great performers and it's always fun to watch and enlightening," said JoAnne Deeken, UT Librarian and audience member.
The performance started with the original Swan Lake, the story of Odette the beautiful princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer. Several swans took stage as Odette performed taking center stage. R.M. "Prince" Myshkin, an evil wizard, incorporated humor as he cast spells turning TROCKS into swans.
There were a few other performances, Patterns in Space, Go For Barocco and Majisimas. Each of these performances had humor while incorporating different choreography, music, costumes and lighting.
Patterns in Space was a postmodern dance movement essay with two of the TROCKS as musicians making sound with various objects such as scissors, bazookas, bubble wrap and several other objects to go along with the taped music.
"Part of what I'm enjoying about this performance tonight here at UT is the way the UT audience is enjoying themselves. There's a real ethnic atmosphere about this whole performance. There's a lot of support for the dancers." -David Houston, audience member "Part of what I'm enjoying about this performance tonight here at UT is the way the UT audience is enjoying themselves. There's a real ethnic atmosphere about this whole performance. There's a lot of support for the dancers," said audience member David Houston.
Music by J.S. Bach was played during Go For Barocco featuring Balanchine ballet while a Spanish-flavored performance with classical ballet was captured in Majisimas. The crowd stood and encored at the end of the last performance.
The TROCKS were founded in 1974 by a group of ballet enthusiasts earning a critical essay in The New Yorker by Arlene Croce. They also had reviews in The New York Times and The Village Voice establishing the company as an artistic and popular success. The company has established itself worldwide proving that men can dance en pointe.
When asked where dancer Davide Marongiu liked to perform the most he said, "It's New York City, because the audience is very warm and it's a very ballet audience. They come and they know exactly what they're looking at."
The TROCKS have been a part of dance festivals worldwide and have also appeared on such shows as "What's My Line?", "Real People," "the Dick Cavett Show," "The Muppet Babies" and more.
CAC does a membership drive each semester for those eager to join. There is an application process and an interview for those interested in becoming a part of CAC. CAC is looking for exceptional members with new ideas about diversity.
"What we try to do is bring in dance and music acts that culturally diversify what Knoxville already has going on," said Sarah Kim, Secretary of CAC. "We try and bring stuff from different cultures that people may not be exposed to otherwise."