For the family audience that attends Sunday matinees, the Trocks offered a hardcore program of traditional ballet. All four pieces -- "Swan Lake" Act 2, "Le Corsair" pas de deux, "Pas de Quatre" and "Don Quixote" -- had their origins in the last century and, despite the inevitable or willful mutations wrought in time, the specter of academic style lurked in the National Theater's wings throughout the afternoon.
The troupe's two ballerinas personify, and more, the great schism of the orthodox Russian school. Tamara Bomdiyeva (Sanson Candeleria) is the hyprbole of Moscow's plebeian manner. She is strong and knotty, given to balances that last way beyond the music and to extremely explicit dramatics. Miscast as the poetical Swan Queen, she might have been right for the extrovert "Don Q." In contrast, Ida Neversayneva (Leland Walsh) had the delicate long line (extraordinarily extended through raised shoulders) that is the metaquintessence of St. Petersburg noblesse. She was delightfully lightweight in "Don Q" and the difficult "Corsair."
The Trock's danseurs include the virtuoso Jacques d'Aniels (Sanson Candeleria), bouncy Yuri Smirnov (Alfonzo Hidalgo), and that elegantly wilting mime -- Lermontov (Natch Taylor).
Disguise has been part of ballet forever. Women didn't dance on stage in Italy in the early 1800s, and several of the men who took ballerina roles became the great choreographers of the subsequent Romantic era. They created "the ballerina" as we know her today. The Trockadero's revival of the travesty tradition, though ostensibly for fun, may have bred a real choreographer already. Peter Anastos, a defector from the ranks of these ballerinas, staged the "Don Q." It is more than a parody re-creation. Anastos has a knack for groupings, step combinations and dramatic moments.