Program 20: Rebels On Pointe
Directed by Bobbi Jo Hart
If you’re unfamiliar with The Trocks, the opening montage of this charming documentary quickly brings you up to speed. Classical music, pretty pink ballet shoes, athletic men in tutus and makeup… is this a drag show? No wait, they can really dance!
Welcome to Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the world-famous all-male comedy ballet company. Founded in post-Stonewall New York in 1974, for over 40 years they have brought a gay sensibility to classical ballet with talent and good cheer. This documentary takes us behind the scenes of the performances and into the lives of some of the principal dancers of the company as they balance family, dance, and globe-trotting travel.
We hear the stories of dancers Bobby Carter, Raffaele Morra, Carlos Hopuy, and Chase Johnsey, renegades who wanted to dance on pointe in a world that demands its male dancers fit a strictly-defined masculinity. Their relationships with family, often complicated by long distance, will engage you, especially the pride on the faces of parents watching their sons making it on the international stage.
Artistic director and former dancer, Tory Dobin, tells us the history of the troupe and the challenges it has faced and overcome. Starting as a parody of the mid-century Russian touring ballet companies, The Trocks have always balanced technique and comedy. The 1980s and 1990s were especially challenging as AIDS claimed the lives of many dancers, striking at the heart of this tight-knit company. Happier memories from the past include archival footage of an appearance of the Trocks with Shirley MacLaine, which is sure to delight.
The Trocks’ unique take on men playing male roles explores masculinity just as men playing female roles provides a new take on feminine roles in ballet. The delicacy and power, the comedy and drama of these rebels on pointe will have you cheering for an encore!
— Paul Allen
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Documentary – OUTshine Miami LGBT Film Festival
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Documentary Runner-Up – Santa Barbara International Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, Best Canadian Feature – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
- INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD, Best Documentary Feature – San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
- OPENING NIGHT SELECTION – CinemaQ Film Festival (Denver)
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco LGBTQ International Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – HotDocs Toronto
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Roze Filmdagen LGBT Film Festival (Amsterdam)
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Outfest LA LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Vancouver International Film Festival