Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Peacock Theatre, review: Bravura performers laugh at ballet from the inside

Troupe has strong technique and a razor-sharp sense of its absurdities

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The Independent Culture

Floating through the patterns of Les Sylphides, the Trocks – the world’s best-loved drag ballet troupe – simper sweetly until something goes terribly wrong. Then they soldier on, while mortification and fury bubble up behind the false eyelashes and fixed smiles.

The Trocks combine strong technique, deep love of dance and a razor-sharp sense of its absurdities. They laugh at ballet from the inside, bravura performers in both pirouettes and pratfalls.

Patterns in Space is a demented Merce Cunningham parody, complete with dancers in mad wigs and unitards. The biggest laughs come from the John Cage-inspired music. Rooting through a box of supplies, two musicians play everything from castanets to popping bubble wrap – and all with total conviction about the seriousness of their Art.

Go For Barocco, inspired by George Balanchine’s ballets, is driven by the sheer logic of the movement. There’s delighted applause for the intricate pointework and impeccable rhythm, as well as for the daisy chain patterns that inevitably end in a tangle.

In Don Quixote, a UK premiere, Chase Johnsey’s Yakaterina Verbosovich rules the stage with ballerina grandeur, whipping through killer fouetté turns. Holding a balance, she flashes us a look of justified triumph.

Until 26 September. 020 7863 8222. Touring until 11 November. See www.danceconsortium.com for tour dates.