TRAILER: Rebels On Pointe

Film Journal reviews:

Beloved by dance aficionados, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, known as The Trocks by its devoted international following, is a New York-based, all-male classical-ballet comedy troupe. Its members are doubly extraordinary. Not only are they exquisitely trained ballet dancers with top-drawer technique, including a mastery of pointe work (typically only done by females), but they are also first-class physical comedians.

Fans of the company’s hilarious, campy spoofs of classical ballet’s stuffy traditions and signature choreography have appreciated the dually talented nature of its dancers for more than four decades. But thanks to filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart’s Rebels on Pointe, a waggish, warmhearted documentary about The Trocks, we now know that there’s a third criterion for membership in the famous drag dance company: You must be a super-nice guy.

Rebels On Pointe has its US premiere in New York City today after winning raves at film festivals across North America. Upcoming commercial dates are here.

(Tipped by JMG reader James)

  • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

    “Ida Neversaynova”

    • Robincho

      For its goof on Margot Fonteyn, my fave has always been Dame Margaret Lowin-Octeyn…

      • licuado de platano

        Norma Stitz

  • Joe in PA
    • Tawreos

      Like they would ever be able to deny the fabulous PickyPecker

    • Natty Enquirer

      Les Poulets Cluckadero.

    • greenmanTN

      Rooster on the streets, hen in the sheets. Just sayin’. (j/k)

      • worstcultever

        ha ha

    • ChrisMorley
      • barracks9

        Oh, how I adored the Matthew Bourne production of “Swan Lake”.

    • another_steve

      Actually, that’s PP’s cousin, Harry. Not PP. Very sad story.

      That pic was from Harry’s audition, which didn’t go well.

      He was turned into a nice Summer Squash Chicken Alfredo shortly thereafter.

      • Tawreos

        Sounds delici…uhm I mean my most sincere condolences to the entire Pecker family, especially Picky, Big, and Long Peckers.

    • Amanda B. Rekendwith

      Word is her tutu was a size fourfour, and her thighs, delicious.

  • Tawreos

    They want people to be talented and nice? They could have just no thank you to my application instead of tailoring their rules to exclude me. =)

  • JoeMyGod

    I’ve only seen the Trocks once and that show was doubly memorable because it took place on the plaza of the World Trade Center on September 10th, 2001.

    • JoeMyGod

      From the New York Times blurb about that dance series:

      Twyla Tharp Dance, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Dance Theater of Harlem and Garth Fagan Dance will be among the participants when the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council offers a new installment of ”Visa Presents Evening Stars.” Beginning
      with Ronald K. Brown’s company, Evidence, at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the
      World Trade Center Plaza at 1 World Trade Center, between Liberty and
      Vesey Streets, the series offers 11 free performances through Sept. 16.

      • JoeMyGod

        I still have the brochure somewhere.

    • zeroagent

      I could definitely remember that….Thanks for sharing, Joe.

  • zeroagent

    My first experience with them was the equally fun Ballet Grandiva, who toured primarily overseas, especially in Japan. My friend Paul Boos was the choreographer at the time for them, and I got to see them a couple of times when I was in Tokyo. Of course, the Swan Lake pieces were the highlights… ☺️

  • Gustav2

    The feathers falling in the opening credits immediately brought back a giggle memory of when I saw them on a date in the late 1970’s in Columbus.

    No swan ever died better.

  • another_steve

    I knew a guy in NYC who danced with them a while. Mid 1970s – their early years. Hi John B. – if you’re reading here!

    Back then, camp was not universally embraced in the queer community. Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band” (a camp classic) was playing and was very controversial. There were actually protest demonstrations at some of its performances.

    Me, I’ve always loved camp.

    (If you saw me, you’d understand why.)

    • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

      Some days, I think, sadly, that here, JMG, is the last bastion of 70s camp.

    • David Walker

      I miss camp. While I wasn’t a particularly good camper, I was a great fan and would sit in awe at a bar or a party and enjoy the back and forth. It’s always been in my nature to “look things up,” and trying to understand camp references was also a great joy. I think it was objected to by assimilationists, which was a concept I tended not to buy into, even out here in the midst of nowhere.

  • gaycuckhubby

    Can’t wait to see this!
    I’m far from a ballet aficionado, but I loved Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

  • worstcultever

    Omg, the Trocks! Never saw them, but read about them forever & adored them from afar when I was a baby gayelle.

    This doc is such WONDERFUL news! Can’t wait!

  • j.martindale

    Our good friend, Paul Ghiesling, a dancer from Richmond, did Ida Nevasayneva for many years. How hysterical. He was the artistic Director for years in the company, too, and recently retired. Here is his Swan:

  • Leo
  • Michael R

    I knew this had been around for a while

    Their first show was on September 9, 1974, at a second story loft on 14th street, in the heart of the meat-packing district

  • pj

    i saw them in chicago. it was a great evening.

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    I have an unfortunate association with Ballet Trockadero. I saw them perform at the base of Twin Towers on Sept. 10, 2001. It’s the only time I was ever at the World Trade Center.

    • BearEyes

      See Joe’s post below.

      • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

        Thanks. I missed it.

  • In a world gone mad, I swear Les Trocs look like sanity.
    And yes, Virginia, there is no Sanity Claus.

  • BearEyes

    I saw them at Jorgensen Theatre at UConn years ago. Easily one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
    “Terminal Fowl” was to die for

  • JAKvirginia

    If you can, see them live. The best couple of hours you can spend “at the ballet”. And their playbill/programs are a giggle fest.

  • campbell

    Saw them years ago in London and the entire row behind us were all the principal stars of the Royal Ballet at the time and they were utterly bowled over by just how good they were. I overheard Darcey Bussell (I think it was she!) saying” I find that hard and I’m built for it. How does HE manage?”

  • David in Tucson

    They have been to Tucson several times, and it’s been a fun evening every time. Not only that, the actual dancing is terrific, too.

  • Mrs. Councillor Nugent
  • iambu

    This is exactly what I need right now. Looks like a blast!

  • I can’t wait!!!!

  • BeaverTales

    Why is it when women violate gender norms, it’s “progress”….but if men do it, it’s “comedy”?

    I think the ballerinos are beautiful.

  • sfbob

    The Trocs played at San Francisco’s Stern Grove in 1998. Only time I ever saw them perform live.

    However when I was 25 (that was a very long time ago) I met one of the original members of the troupe at a bar in the West Village and got to spend a night in their loft in Chelsea.

  • juanjo54

    I saw them in San Francisco back around 1979 and was blown away by their talent.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Brings back memories. They’re brilliant, funny and damn can they Ballet the shit out of Swan Lake.

  • David Walker

    From their blurb on YouTube: “…a ballerina is not merely a woman dancing, but an act of revolution in a tutu.” Couldn’t agree more.

  • bobbyjoe

    I saw this wonderful film at a recent LGBT film festival and highly recommend it. In a world that seems filled lately with bad news, it was great to see a film about the power of talent and humor.

  • PeedeResistance

    One of their early treasures (from the Peter Anastos days) is still the best…if you have the chance to see ‘Go for Barocco,’ by all means do. It’s the best, funniest, most loving and most affectionate Balanchine parody evah.

  • Robincho

    It’s good they’re planning a nice long run! (cf: the screening at the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, slated for November 8th, 2107)…

  • B Snow

    Anyone who has seen their soloist perform “The Dying Swan” will never forget it. 😀

  • MaryJOGrady

    What great news! I saw them perform once in Austin. It was unforgettable and hilarious.

  • Robincho

    For several years, me and the boygrrlz would scrimp and save so we could take over Box E at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House for live performances by these wondrous geniuses. (“An ENTIRE box, mind you,” — with intermission Champagne in the anteroom.)

    If these bitches step on the ping-pong ball, it’s because they fucking well MEAN to step on the ping-pong ball… See this film without fail and ASAP. Thank me later…

  • trouble94114

    I seem to recall that at one point they had a dancer named “Igor the Crusher” his bio read something to the effect that “No ballerina who has ever danced with him has lived to tell the tale”

  • Elsewhere1010

    See the movie, and see them perform if you ever get the chance.

    If you know nothing about ballet, you’ll watch and laugh, having a great evening. If you’re an insane, obsessed balletomane who can tell by the bend in a leg just who choreographed the piece, you will slide out of your seat and onto the floor in convulsive laughter.

  • Kevin Perez

    I see them at the Joyce, every other year.

  • Homo Erectus

    I saw this movie at the TIGLIFF this year and expect to see them live (again) this spring. Definitely recommend. If you like the Kinsey Sicks, you’ll love these guys – even if you’re not into ballet. Bring a friend and a hanky.

  • twinkie223

    I saw them in the early 1990s at the Seattle Opera House. A co-worker’s date canceled and I was asked to attend at the last minute. The evening remains a treasured highlight of my life. Thank you for triggering fond memories.