Ballet with a giggle

Ballet with a giggle

Les Ballets Grandiva’s Men In Tutus is coming to Australia with suitcases packed full of tight leotards, dance belts and tiaras.

This $3 million production is by the largest company of its kind, with more than 50 ballets in its repertoire and 20 of the best international dancers in its ranks.

Artistic director and founder Victor Trevino said the show, which has already had sell-out seasons in Europe and Asia, is a combination of dance and comedy with subtle gay undertones.

“It’s a ballet show as well, with depths of classical and contemporary,” he said.

“There’s no storyline per se for the whole evening, but there are some ballets that have storylines and some that are more abstract – it’s more dancing and interacting with personalities on stage.”

What makes this show intriguing is that some of the all-male cast had to learn how to walk on pointe.

“Walking in pointe shoes is an unusual skill for a man. We had to mould each shoe to our feet,” Trevino said.

“As your feet get stronger you learn how to control the shoe. It requires a lot of balance and control.”

Trevino said the show was so gruelling the dancers were prone to everything from bleeding toes and toenails falling off to Achilles tendon problems – but that was all part of a day’s work.

Trevino said the show, now in its 11th season, did have some similarities to drag, but it also offered something completely different.

“People have all different definitions of what a drag show is,” he said.

“We are not fooling people like female impersonators. There’s no lip-syncing and it’s more about dance and comedy.”

And unlike with drag queens, there’s no tucking in this production.

“We have a thing called the dance belt and it holds everything in place,” Trevino said.

“We don’t make any efforts in hiding our bits. You don’t want to squeeze things between your legs and jump around.”

Men In Tutus will perform at the State Theatre on Saturday 20 October, Sutherland Entertainment Centre on the Thursday 18 October and Penrith Panthers on Wednesday 24 October.

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