A new show is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with a difference. Les Ballet Trocadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male ballet troupe founded in New York in 1974, is performing at the Dublin-based theatre. The show not only demonstrates the company’s incredible balletic technique but also comedic ability as they perform the female roles in the ballet in drag.
Jack Furlong is a member of Les Ballets Trockadero, affectionately referred to as ‘The Trocks’, and said he’s “excited” about the upcoming show, describing it as a “full experience of real ballet and comedy as well.”
Jack joined The Trocks four years ago and while he has toured all over the world with the troupe, he is excited to be dancing in his home country. Furlong explained: “I was born in Boston but then I grew up in Leitrim, where my family is originally from. Then I moved to New York to finish school and to go to ballet school.”
Talking about how Les Ballet Trocadero balances comedy and technique, Furlong said: “I think that drag is very distinguishing and comedic in its own way. Everything is very thought-out when it comes to the comedy, but there are moments when it is really just straight-up classical dance – it’s just a man that’s doing it. So people can just enjoy it because of the skill level. It’s kind of both but if you go, you’re going to laugh. It’s going to happen.”
On the qualities that the troupe brings to the stage, he described it as “a mish-mash of everything”, continuing “There are guys from ten different countries. Besides Australia, we have a guy representing each continent. There are different shapes, sizes, colours and personalities. No two performers are the same. It’s very colourful, the company is a full rainbow, so I think that’s also what makes us really interesting.”
Each of the members of The Trocks gets personalities when they enter the company and Furlong’s names are Guzella Verbitskaya and Mikhail Mordkin.
“Guzella’s bio reflects my training and my background,” he explains. “So that’s how it represents you. We call each other by the names all the time. It becomes a part of you.
“When I’m on stage, I’m Guzella, but I’m imagining myself as Jack as well. It’s just me out there. It’s not me acting as something, it’s just me dancing.”
As for what people can expect in the show coming to BGET, he said: “We’re doing ‘Swan Lake’ Act II, which is one of our staples. From the get-go, you’re going to be in bits. It’s very camp, but in a good way. We’re also doing ‘Paquita’, which is just beautiful music and has more true dancing with jokes thrown in. It’s electric and powerful, it’s one of my favourite pieces. The audience is going to have a really exciting show, with different colours and lots of amazing dancing as well.
“I hope that they not only enjoy it but get to know more about ballet, and that Irish audiences will develop more interest in it. I think our company is the best way to learn about ballet. If you’ve never seen it, it’s the best thing to see.”
The show makes up part of the Dublin Theatre Festival line-up and will have two performances at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on the 9th and 10th of October. The company will also perform at the Belfast Grand Opera House on November 2nd and 3rd.