Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Perhaps the motto of Les Ballets put-on troupe which made its Washington bow at Lisner Auditorium Thursday night, should be "nothing exceeds like excess." The company has mastered the art of overdoing it to a degree that inspires uncontrollable hilarity.
Trock, for short, consists of 10 male dancers, dolled up to the nines as ballerinas, who go through the entire classical ballet sthick, though the traditional five positions seem to have become about 23, one more exquisitely contorted than the next.
It's apropos that the words "travesty" and "transvestite" come from the same Latin roots. The incongruity and ungainliness of men trotting around in tutus and toe-shoes is funny off the bat. It would be inaccurate to say, however, that the Trock spoofs leave everything to be desired in the way of technique. Their point of departure is the real thing, to which they give a surprisingly fair approximation much of the time. This, of course, is what makes the final analysis, more diverting than mere drag-queen camp.
The company's versions of "Le Lac des Cygnes" ("Swan Lake") and "The Dying Swan," for instance, capture not only the tippy-toe preciosity and outlandish mime, in the first case, and the wilted romanticism of the Pavlova mystique in the second, but the actual steps as well. There's no exact choreographic model for "Phaedra/Monotonous No. 1148," or "Go for Barocco," but each takes off davastingly on a particular style - Martha Graham's spasmodic symbolism, and Balanchine's erector-set neo-classicism.
For all its expertise, the program wears a bit thin over a 2 1/2 hour stretch. But it's mostly a laugh riot, and you don't have to know a pie from a plum pudding to enjoy it.