Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are The "Trocks" in Town?

Are Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in Town? 2010

Couldn’t resist this.

While walking on the Virginia Beach boardwalk the other day just after the annual Neptune Festival Grand Parade, a flock of grown men and boys in duck costumes cut across the boardwalk to get to the beach, where I presume they were going to splash around in the water like ducks do. I don’t know what group they represented. I'm pretty sure it wasn't Ducks Unlimited. (There wasn't enough camouflage.)

They were funny looking and everyone got a kick out of them. But I couldn’t look at them without recalling Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, a group of serious male dancers who perform, as London’s Sadler’s Well Theater put it, “a unique brand of ballet, dancing a fine line between high art and high camp.”

Look at this short clip of the “Trocks,” as they’re called by their fans, performing a bit of Swan Lake.

I don’t know much about dance. I admire the beauty and athleticism of some of it. But I’m pretty clueless about a lot of it. I am, though, big on musical parodies. Put me in a room with a stack of P.D.Q. Bach records, for example, and I’ll be no good for the rest of the day.

The Trocks aren’t as over the top as P.D.Q. Bach, whose zaniness is ultimately a high-class form of music education. But I suspect that if I had more time to go explore the Trocks on YouTube I could become hooked in their antics and probably gain a much better understanding of dance along the way.

Here’s some more of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo for your viewing pleasure.


  1. Great photo, great story, and great links! I've loved P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schickele) since the moment I first saw and heard him on a PBS station in Toledo, Ohio, where my brother worked. I agree with you that he and the "Trocks" are cut from the same cloth! I loved all of the clips in this post. Thanks for this gold mine, Chris! - Sheila Strong

  2. Great clip, Chris! After living for most of a half century in VB nothing surprises me anymore. That said, I would be maintaining a safe distance from a group of men in duck suits, especially since I gave up the drink nearly 20 years back.

  3. Chris: your mind is only equalled by your talent. Each time I wander onto your site I am surprised by joy with what I read, see and now even hear. Thanks.

  4. What a fun photo--I wonder what group they were! Great color. And I enjoyed the links.