Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Men in Tutus!

They arrived in MediaCorp in their tutus, but we missed them in it cos they had changed back to their shirts & jeans by the time they came over from Channel NewsAsia... *awww*

I wanted to shoot a vid of them doing pointe work, and was a tad disappointed that they were wearing rubber slippers! *LOL* But these guys are the best. They wasted no time kicking off their slippers & slipping into their ballerina shoes.

In fact, they offered to change into their tutus for us. At this point, Brian Norris, Artistic Director of Les Ballets Grandiva, pulled out these white tubes [pictured, left] which kinda look like giant versions of my bolster. Yes, I still have one! *blush*

Apparently, this is how their tutus are stored! In fact, he was in the midst of folding & stuffing them in as we were chatting...
Although he's Artistic Director, Brian is a performer too, having danced from 1994 to 2001 with the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He's even performed for President & Mrs Clinton in 1998!

"Male comedy ballet is not about men playing women, but men parodying ballerinas," he clarifies, adding that this genre of ballet is anything but stuffy. "You'll be laughing till you cry! But we're first of all world-class male ballet dancers, so you'll be seeing high standards."

In fact, Les Ballets Grandiva is the largest company of its kind in the world, with over 50 ballets in its repertoire, and 19 of the best international male ballet dancers from 7 countries.

Joining our chat is dancer Joshua Thake, whose ballerina persona is Ida Crayne. Every dancer has an on-stage persona. What tickled me most was how the name Ida Crayne came about.

Josh is 6'2", a tall strappy chap. And because of his height, he's usually the one who does a lot of the carrying in the dances. And his ballerina name is a play on that. Ida Crayne = "I the crane"! *LOL* Aren't these guys hilarious?

Although he had changed out, Josh still had his full makeup & ballerina hairdo on. Stan was mesmerised by his pink lip gloss, while I was mesmerised by his thick, luscious eye lashes! ooh-la-la!

Joshua & Brian from Men in Tutus in The Living Room.

We had such a blast chatting with them & learning more about male comedy ballet as a genre. Did you know that the tradition of men playing female roles dates back to Ancient Greece, when women were forbidden by law to perform publicly on stage?

Well, the tradition of men portraying women's roles continues in male comedy ballet today, purely for comedy's sake. And we're glad! Who says ballet has to be stuffy & boring???

As promised, here's Joshua showing off his pointe work...

Men in Tutus is in town for only 4 days, so don't procrastinate! I'm looking forward to catching the show with my colleague Melanie (Oliveiro) tomorrow night at the Esplanade. Come over & say hi if you see us!

Men in Tutus
21 - 24 Jan
Esplanade Theatre
Tickets via SISTIC.

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