Preview: Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo, Peacock Theatre, London

Ladies and gentlemen, the Trocks
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The Independent Culture

That fine flowering of transsexual frivolity in the early Seventies - La Grande Eugène in France, The Rocky Horror Show in Britain, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in America - lives on in a thousand imitations, but the Trocks are still with us. Tory Dobrin, their artistic director, joined the company as a dancer when it was five years old.

Classically trained in the eclectic American mode, he gravitated naturally to the Trocks. "I was into doing things that were a bit more accessible, so the Trocks seemed worth a try. And it proved to be a lot of fun, even if it was also very hard work."

Has the company changed in the last 27 years? "Not in its basic concept - it was, and still is, an all-male comedy-ballet company. But one way it has changed is in the level of performance. It attracts better dancers now, and the ballets are more challenging. We're now doing the standard Russian classical repertory, which means hard things."

They don't do auditions: "People get in touch with me through the internet, and I invite them to come and do some classes. Then we see how they get along with the company, because being a team player is as important as being a good dancer."

The daily regime, he says, is like the regime in any other company: "The Royal Ballet's Georgina Parkinson taught our dancers this week, and when we're on tour we start the day with a class, as all dance companies do." They commission new works - always parodies - and every so often reconstruct an existing classic, which in their irreverent hands becomes a new work too.

"We look for forgotten pieces, like The Hump-Backed Horse by Petipa, which we reconstructed with a dancer who had performed it in Russia."

Will the Trocks ever change? "The only way we could change would be if we brought in women, and did serious dramatic works. And we're not planning to do that any time soon."

21 March to 8 April (0870 737 0337)

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