Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Date with Men in Tutus!

My colleague Melanie Oliviero (F-Cube, weekdays 12noon-3pm) and I have a date. With Men. In Tutus. It doesn't quite sound like the sort of date we girls would be excited about. But oh, we were!

We grabbed a quick bite at a Japanese restaurant before heading for Men In Tutus at the Esplanade Theatre. I guess after a crazy day in the office, we were just looking forward to some hearty laughs.

The truth is, Mel & I secretly hoped we wouldn't doze off during the performance... But the show was just so insanely brilliant that we were hooked from start to end.

These men are first & foremost world-class male ballet dancers. And while we imagine they just want to don pretty tutus, Brian Norris (Artistic Director, Les Ballets Grandiva) explains that the real reason is that most of them want to do pointe work [pictured, left], which until quite recently was exclusive to ballerinas.

I will tell you one thing: These men are unbelievably graceful! I swear they're 100 times more feminine than me!

But ever so often -- because they are parodying ballerinas -- they'd lapse into what I call "ugly movements". It's just the whole unexpectedness of these ugly movements that cracked me up!

My favourite must surely be Dying Swan (from Swan Lake), performed by Joshua Thake, whom we interviewed yesterday. Think shedding feathers... death spasms... body parts going limp bit by bit... collapsing in a messy heap on the floor. This scene will forever be etched in my mind: The brilliant juxtaposition of graceful ballet & dying poultry.

The Men in Tutus came out to greet us after the show, and everyone wanted a piece of them! Can you spot Brian and Joshua?

Joshua Thake [right] reminded Melanie of Lady Gaga, while this dainty Japanese dancer [left] reminded me of actress Maggie Chung!

Was there anything I didn't like about the show?

Well, there were several times when the dancers were fighting for the limelight on stage (deliberately, of course, as part of this whole diva thing), so they'd have their cheeky tactics of stealing the thunder from each other. While it was hilarious, it got a tad tedious after a while. Move on already!

But all in all, I had a wonderful evening! On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give them an 8.5. I never thought I'd enjoy ballet. But Men In Tutus was anything but boring & stuffy. How many popcorns would you give them, Mel? *LOL*

If you want to catch them, it's still not too late. Men in Tutus is on till Sunday 24 Jan. Click here for tickets.

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