50th Anniversary  

Monday, February 12, 7:30pm
Lensic Performing Arts Center


Colette Adae, Ludmila Beaulemova,
Maria Clubfoot, Holly Dey-Abroad,
Nadia Doumiafeyva, Elvira Khababgallina,
Varvara Laptopova, Anya Marx,
Resi Oachkatzlschwoaf, Grunya Protazova,
Olga Supphozova, Gerd Törd,
Bertha Vinayshinsky, Tatiana Youbetyabootskaya,
Blagovesta Zlotmachinskaya

Bruno Backpfeifengesicht, Ilya Bobovnikov,
Boris Dumbkopt, Araf Legupski, Marat Legupski,
Sergey Legupski, Timur Legupski, Mikhail Mudkin,
Boris Mudko, Chip Pididouda, Yuri Smirnov,
Kravlji Snepek, Pavel Törd, Jens Witzelsucht,
Tino Xirau-Lopez

Tory Dobrin |Artistic Director

Liz Harler |Executive Director

Isabel Martinez Rivera |Associate Director

Raffaele Morra| Ballet Master

Shelby Sonnenberg |Production Manager



Swept up into the magical realm of swans (and birds), this elegiac phantasmagoria of variations and ensembles in line and music is the signature work of Les Ballets Trockadero.  The story of Odette, the beautiful princess turned into a swan by the evil sorcerer, and how she is nearly saved by the love of Prince Siegfried, was not so unusual a theme when Tchaikovsky first wrote his ballet in 1877 — the metamorphosis of mortals to birds and visa versa occurs frequently in Russian folklore. The original Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow was treated unsuccessfully; a year after Tchaikovsky’s death in 1893, the St. Petersburg Maryinsky Ballet produced the version we know today.  Perhaps the world’s best known ballet, its appeal seems to stem from the mysterious and pathetic qualities of the heroine juxtaposed with the canonized glamour of 19th century Russian ballet.

Benno: Kravlji Snepek
friend and confidant to
Prince Siegfried: Araf Legupski
(who falls in love with)
Varvara Laptopova
(Queen of the)
Artists of the Trockadero
(all of whom got this way because of)
Von Rothbart: Yuri Smirnov
(an evil wizard who goes about turning girls into swans)





Stylistic heir to Balanchine’s Middle-Blue-Verging-On-Black-and-White Period, this ballet has become a primer in identifying stark coolness and choreosymphonic delineation in the new(neo) neo-new classic dance.  It has been called a wristwatch for Balanchine clock-time.

Varvara Laptopova and Grunya Protazova
Ludmila Beaulemova, Holly Dey-Abroad, Anya Marx, Resi Oachkatzlschwoaf     



STAGED and with additional CHOREOGRAPHY 

This ballet is inspired by the Bolshoi Ballet’s Valpurgeyeva Noch, which Russians have long respected as a specimen of Soviet balletic camp. 

BACCHANTE Nadia Doumiafeyva

BACCHUS Bruno Backpfeifengesicht

PAN Boris Dumbkopf

FAUNS Marat Legupski, Chip Pididouda, Timur Legupski, Mikhail Mudkin

NYMPHS Elvira Khababgallina, Olga Supphozova, Ludmila Beaulemova

MAIDENS Artists of the Trockadero


LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO was founded in 1974 by New York City-based ballet enthusiasts in order to present a playful, entertaining view of traditional, classical ballet in parody form and with men performing all of the roles – and in the case of roles usually danced by women: en travesti and en pointe. Founders Peter Anastos, Anthony Bassae, and Natch Taylor broke away from Larry Ree’s Gloxinia Trockadero Ballet to create a dance- and choreography-focused company. They put on their first shows on the makeshift stage of the West Side Discussion Group, an early gay and lesbian political organization, which was led by future Trockadero General Director Eugene McDougle. The performances were infused with a subversive edge as the country was still a long way from bringing drag performance to a mainstream audience. 

The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, soon garnered critical acclaim and cultural cachet in publications with major reach, such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, and the Village Voice. By mid-1975, the company’s inspired blend of dance knowledge, comedy, and athleticism, moved beyond New York City when the Trocks qualified for the National Endowment for the Arts Touring Program, hired a full-time teacher and ballet mistress, AND made its first extended tours of the United States and Canada. Packing, unpacking, and repacking tutus and drops, stocking giant-sized toe shoes by the case, and running for planes and chartered buses all became routine parts of life. They have been going non-stop ever since, appearing in 43 countries and more than 660 cities worldwide.  The company has garnered a dedicated fan base, repeating performances in countries year after year, and continuing to add first-time engagements as the company enters its 50th Anniversary season.

Interest and accolades have accumulated over the years. The Trocks have proved an alluring documentary subject, featured in an Emmy-winning episode of the acclaimed British arts program The South Bank Show;  the 2017 feature film Rebels on Pointe; and most recently Ballerina Boys, which aired on PBS American Masters in 2021. Several of the Trocks’ performances at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, France, were also aired by Dutch, French and Japanese TV networks. Other television appearances have ranged from a Shirley MacLaine special to the Dick Cavett Show, What’s My Line?, Real People, and On-Stage America.  The dancers also have the distinction of appearing with Kermit and Miss Piggy on Muppet Babies.

The company’s awards include a prestigious UK Critics Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Repertoire (2007) and nomination for Outstanding Company (2016), the UK Theatrical Managers Award (2006); and the Positano Award for Excellence in Dance (2007, Italy). The company has appeared in multiple galas and benefits over the years, including at the 80th anniversary Royal Variety Performance to aid the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund in December 2008, which was attended by members of the British Royal family, including the (now) King Charles III.

The original concept of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo has not changed. It is a company of professional male dancers performing the full range of ballet and modern dance repertoire, including classical and original works in faithful renditions of the manners and conceits of those dance styles. The comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance.  Muscular, athletic bodies delicately balancing on toes as swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, and angst-ridden Victorian ladies enhance the appreciation for the art form, delighting die-hard ballet fans and newcomers alike. 

Looking to the future, the Trocks are making plans for new commissions, new debuts, and new audiences, while continuing the company’s original mission: to bring the pleasure of dance to the widest possible audience.  

The company will, as they have for 50 years, “keep on Trockin’.”


COLETTE ADAE was orphaned at the age of three when her mother, a ballerina of some dubious distinction, impaled herself on the first violinist’s bow after a series of rather uncontrolled “fouette voyage.” Colette was raised and educated with the “rats” of the Opera House but the trauma of her childhood never let her reach her full potential.  However, under the kind and watchful eye of the Trockadero, she has begun to flower and we are sure you will enjoy watching her growth.

LUDMILA BEAULEMOVA, famed country and western ballerina and formerly prima ballerina of the grand Ole Opry, recently defected from that company when they moved to their new Nashville home.  The rift was caused by their refusal to stage the ballet with which her name has become synonymous, I Never Promised You a Rose Adagio.

MARIA CLUBFOOT, the latest of the great Native American ballerinas: Larkin, Tallchief (Maria and Marjorie), Clubfoot. Maria, pride of the Luni tribe, blazed a path with her interpretation of “Slaughter on 10th Avenue,” set in the Wolf Den club at Mohegan Sun. Maria appears with the Trockadero under special permission from Federal authorities.

HOLLY DEY-ABROAD.  Miss Dey-Abroad lacks the talent and intelligence that are required to be good at dancing and did not understand that this lack of talent and intelligence  are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at dancing—and if one lacks such talent and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at dancing. Consequently she auditioned for the Trocks and was accepted.

NADIA DOUMIAFEYVA.  No one who has seen Heliazpopkin will soon forget the spiritual athleticism of Nadia Doumiafeyva, a child of Caucasus who changed her name for show business reasons.  Her fiery attack, combined with her lyric somnolence, produces confusion in audiences the world over, particularly when applied to ballet. 

ELVIRA KHABABGALLINA, voted “the girl most likely to,” is the living example that a common hard-working girl can make it to the top.  Our friendly ballerina was pounding the pavement looking for work when the Trockadero found her.  Her brilliant technique has endeared her to several fans, as well as to some of the stage hands.  Her motto is “a smile is better than talent.”  Her nickname is… well, never mind what her nickname is.

VARVARA LAPTOPOVA is one of those rare dancers who, with one look at a ballet, not only knows all the steps but can also dance all the roles.  As a former member of the Kiev Toe and Heel Club, she was awarded first-prize at the Pan-Siberian Czardash and Kazotski Festival for artistic mis-interpretation.

ANYA MARX  comes to the ballet stage after her hair-raising escape from the successful (but not terribly tasteful) overthrow of her country’s glamorous government.  She made a counter-revolutionary figure of herself when she was arrested for single-handedly storming the State Museum of Revolutionary Evolution, where her fabulous collection of jewels were being insensitively displayed alongside a machine gun. The resilient Madame Marx is currently the proprietress of America’s only mail order Course in Classical Ballet.

RESI OACHKATZLSCHWOAF was born on a locomotive speeding through the Alps in her native Bavaria.  She quickly realized the limitations of her native folk dancing and quaint handicrafts.  After her arrival in America, she learned everything she now knows about ballet from a seminar entitled “Evil Fairies on the Periphery of the Classical Dance.”

GRUNYA PROTAZOVA is the missing link between the crustaceans of the old Russian school and the more modern amphibians now dancing.  Before joining the Trockadero, Grunya was the featured ballerina at Sea World, where her famous autobiographic solo, Dance of the Lower Orders, brought several marine biologists to tears.

OLGA SUPPHOZOVA made her first public appearance in a police line-up under dubious circumstances.  After a seven-year-to-life hiatus, she now returns to her adoring fans.  When questioned about her forced sabbatical, Olga’s only comment was “I did it for Art’s sake.”  Art, however, said nothing.

GERD TÖRD, “The Prune Danish of Russian Ballet,” abandoned an enormously successful career as a film actress to become a Trockadero ballerina.  Her faithful fans, however, need not despair as most of her great films have been made into ballets:  the searing Back to Back, the tear-filled Thighs and Blisters, and the immortal seven-part Screams from a Carriage. Because of her theatrical flair, Gerd has chosen to explore the more dramatic aspects of ballet, causing one critic to rename her Giselle, “What’s my Line?”

BERTHA VINAYSHINSKY has defected to America three times and been promptly returned on each occasion — for “artistic reasons.” Recently discovered “en omelette” at the Easter Egg Hunt in Washington, D.C. Prima Ballerina Vinayshinksky was hired by the Trockadero, where their inexplicable rise to stardom answers the musical question: Who put the bop in the bop-shibop shibop?

TATIANA YOUBETYABOOTSKAYA created many original roles in St. Petersburg where she was the last of a long line of Italian etoiles to appear at the Maryinsky Theater.  It was her dazzling triumph in the role of “Electricity” in the extravagant “Excelsior” in her native Milan which brought her fame. However, no less electrifying was the line up of perfectly trained elephants, performing like the present day Rockettes.  Unfortunately, Mlle Youbetyabootskaya’s jealous scenes over the publicity given to these elephants and their ensuing popularity with the public, caused numerous problems.  She subsequently refused to appear again in this role.

BLAGOVESTA ZLOTMACHINSKAYA. Ever since her auspicious debut as the Left Nostril in the ballet extracted from The Nose by Gogol, Blagovesta has shown a unique appreciation of her homeland’s literary heritage.  Back home, she is best known as the star of the hit TV show Challenge Anna Karenina, in which the eponymous heroine of Tolstoy’s classic novel seeks to expose the fin de siecle malaise at the heart of pre-Revolutionary Russia with the aid of a helicopter and walkie-talkie.

BRUNO BACKPFEIFENGESICHT soared into prominence as the first East German defector whose leave-taking was accomplished at the virtual insistence of the defectees (although in subsequent days Herr Backpfeifengesicht was accused of abandoning his joyous comrades for “a mountain of beer and an ocean of dollars”). His meteoric rise to stardom caused him to be named Official Bicentennial Porteur by a committee of New York balletomanes who singled out his winning feet and losing smile.

ILYA BOBOVNIKOV, the recipient of this year’s Jean de Brienne Award, is particularly identified for his Rabelaisian ballet technique.  A revolutionary in the art of partnering, he was the first to   introduce crazy glue to stop supported pirouettes.

BORIS DUMBKOPF has been with the greatest ballerinas of our time; he has even danced with some of them.  One of the first defective Eastern Bloc male stars, he left the motherland for purely capitalistic reasons.  Amazingly, between his appearances on television and Broadway and in movies, commercials, magazines, special events, and  women’s nylons, he occasionally still has time to dance.

THE LEGUPSKI BROTHERS.  Araf, Marat, Sergey, and Timur are not really brothers, nor are their names really Araf, Marat, Sergey, or Timur, nor are they real Russians, nor can they tell the difference between a pirouette and a jete…but…well…they do move about rather nicely…and…they fit into the costumes.

MIKHAIL MUDKIN, the famed Russian danseur for whom the word “Bolshoi” was coined, comes to America from his triumphs as understudy to a famous impresario in the role of The Bear in Petrushka.

BORIS MUDKO is the Trocks’ newest danseur, having joined only last year.  Boris is a drunken but talented Russian from Dzerzhinsk, in the former Soviet Union. He insisted on an audition while the company was on tour.   It took some time to sober him up to make him coherent – he was given gallons of tea and several enemas – but finally he was accepted into the company.  He has since given up all drink and is doing quite well.

CHIP PIDIDOUDA.  Chip is a renowned Greek cricket player who stumbled into the world of English ballet after a wrong turn on the M-90 to Folkestone.  Chip was heralded for his simple and inspiring interpretation of “Doppe” in Dizzney’s world premiere of La Fille de Neige Blanche.  Unaffected by technique, Chip brings his special brand of athleticism and “je ne sais quoi pas” to the Trocks.

YURI SMIRNOV.  At the age of sixteen, Yuri ran away from home and joined the Kirov Opera because he thought Borodin was a prescription barbiturate.  Luckily for the Trockadero, he soon discovered that he didn’t know his arias from his elbow, and decided to become a ballet star instead.

KRAVLJI SNEPEK comes to the Trockadero from his split-level birthplace in Siberia, where he excelled in toe, tap, acrobatic and Hawaiian.  This good-natured Slav is famous for his breathtaking technique–a blend of froth and frou-frou centered on a spine of steel, painfully acquired at the hands and feet of his teacher, Glib Generalization, who has already trained many able dancers.  As an artist in the classical, heroic, tragical mold, young Kravlji wrenched the heart of all who saw him dance Harlene, the Goat Roper in The Best Little Dacha in Sverdlovsk.

PAVEL TÖRD,  “The Prune Danish of Russian Ballet”, abandoned an enormously successful career as a film actor to become a Trockadero premier danseur.  His faithful fans, however, need not despair as most of his great films have been made into ballets:  the searing Back to Back, the tear-filled Thighs and Blisters, and the immortal seven-part Screams from a Carriage. Because of his theatrical flair, Pavel has chosen to explore the more dramatic aspects of ballet, causing one critic to rename his Siegfried, “What’s my Line?”

JENS WITZELSUCHT.   Mr. Witzelsucht has a pure and rare neurological disorder characterized by a tendency to make puns or tell inappropriate jokes or pointless stories in socially inappropriate situations, along with a pathological giddiness with lunatic mood swings. As he does not understand that this behavior is abnormal, he has found a place in the company as one of the more comedic artists.

TINO XIRAU-LOPEZ, Lopez, a well-known figure to the Off-Off-Off audiences, returns to the Trockadero flushed from last season’s Nutcracker in which he played the fiendishly difficult role of the Father. His numerous theatrical successes have not prevented his stern, aristocratic family from disavowing any claims he might make to the title.

Box 1325, Gracie Station, New York City, New York 10028


Blagovesta Zlotmachinskaya and Mikhail Mudkin|
Raydel Caceres

Olga Supphozova and Yuri Smirnov |
Robert Carter

Gerd Törd and Pavel Törd|
Matias Dominguez Escrig

Tatiana Youbetyabootskaya and Araf Legupski |
Andrea Fabbri

Resi Oachikatzlschwoaf and Ilya Bobovnikov |
Gabriel Foley

Elvira Khababgallina and Sergey Legupski |
Kevin Garcia

Maria Clubfoot and Tino Xirau-Lopez |
Alejandro Gonzalez Rodriguez

Anya Marx and Chip Pididouda|
Shohei Iwahama

Nadia Doumiafeyva and Kravlji Snepek |
Philip Martin-Nielson

Holly Dey-Abroad and Bruno Backpfeifengesicht |
Felix Molinero del Paso

Ludmila Beaulemova and Jens Witzelsucht |
Trent Montgomery

Bertha Vinayshinsky and Boris Mudko |
Sergio Najera

Grunya Protazova and Marat Legupski |
Salvador Sasot Sellart

Colette Adae and Timur Legupski |
Jake Speakman

Varvara Laptopova and Boris Dumbkopf |
Takaomi Yoshino


Artistic Director | Tory Dobrin

Executive Director | Liz Harler

Associate Director | Isabel Martinez Rivera

Ballet Master | Raffaele Morra

Production Manager | Shelby Sonnenberg

Lighting Supervisor | Matthew Weisgable

Wardrobe Supervisor | Andrea Mejuto

Production Associate | Anthony Feola

Education Manager | Roy Fialkow

Digital Engagement Manager | Anne Posluszny

Company Advancement Associate | MaryBeth Rodgers

Fundraising Consultant | LG Capital for Culture

Costume Designers | Ken Busbin, Jeffrey Sturdivant

Stylistic Guru | Marius Petipa

Orthopedic Consultant | Dr. David S. Weiss

Photographer | Zoran Jelenic



Birthplace: Pinar del Río, Cuba.  Training: Centro pro danza-Laura Alonso.    Joined Trockadero: July 2023.  Previous companies: California Ballet, Twins City Ballet of MN, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.


Birthplace: Charleston, SC.  Training: Robert Ivey Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School.  Joined Trockadero: November 1995.  Previous companies: Florence Civic Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem Ensemble, Bay Ballet Theater. 


Birthplace:  Santiago, Chile,  Training:  José Espadero Professional Dance Conservatory, Sofia Sancho Dance School, Madrid Dance Center.  Joined Trockadero: October 2023.  Previous company: International Ballet Festival.


Birthplace: Lugo, Italy. Training:  Il Balleto, The HARID Convservatory.   Joined Trockadero: October 2023.  Previous companies: Los Angeles Ballet, Estonian National Ballet.


Birthplace: Overland Park, KS.  Training: Ballet Chicago, Miami City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre.  Joined Trockadero: July 2023.  Previous companies: City Ballet of San Diego, Queer the Ballet.


Birthplace: Gran Canaria, Spain.  Training: Centro Coreografico de Las Palmas Trini Borrull, Conservatory of Dance Carmen Amaya.  Joined Trockadero: August 2017. Previous companies: Ballet Jose Manuel Armas, Lifedanscenter , Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. 


Birthplace: Holguin, Cuba Training: Camaguey Academy of Ballet, Provincial Ballet School, Holguin, Cuba. Joined Trockadero: May 2019. Other Companies: Holguin Chamber Ballet, Ecuadorian Chamber Ballet, Municipal Ballet of Lima, Peru.


Birthplace:  Komae-shi, Tokyo, Japan.  Training: Sam Houston State University, The Ailey School, Miyako Kato Dance Academy. Joined Trockadero:  March 2022. Previous Companies: NobleMotion Dance, James Sewell Ballet, Hope Stone Dance.  


Birthplace:  Middletown, NY.  Training: Natasha Bar, School of American Ballet, Chautauqua Institution of Dance.   Joined Trockadero: September 2012.  Previous company:  North Carolina Dance Theater.


Birthplace: Granada, Spain. Training: Hochschule fur Darstellende kunst Frankfurt am Main.

Joined Trockadero:  August 2019.


Birthplace:  McGehee, AR.   Training:  Arkansas Academy of Dance, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Accademiá dell’Arte, Florida State University.    Joined Trockadero: August 2021.

Previous companies; Arkansas Festival Ballet, Tallahassee Ballet.


Birthplace: México City.  Training: Dance School of Mexico City, Joffrey Ballet School, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.   Joined Trockadero: February 2023.  Previous companies: Ballet Folklorico De México de Amalia Hernández, Convexus, Contemporary Ballet, FABC, Mexico de Colores.


Birthplace: Lleida, Spain.  Training: Real Conservatorio Profesional de Danza de Madrid Mariemma. Escuela de Ballet Camina Ocaña and Pablo Savoye.  Joined Trockadero: August 2019.  Previous company: Severočeske Divadlo Opera a Balet.


Birthplace: Philadelphia PA.  Training:  Marymount Manhattan College  Joined Trockadero:  November 2021.  Previous companies: New York Dance Project, New York Theater Ballet.


Birthplace: Osaka, Japan.  Training: Vaganova Ballet Academy, Ellison Ballet.  Joined Trockadero: August 2018.  Previous company: Atlantic City Ballet.

Program subject to change without notice.


instagram @lesballetstrockadero

LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO, Inc. is a nonprofit dance company chartered by the State of New York.  

Martha Cooper, president; Jenny Palmer, vice-president; Amy Minter, treasurer; Mary Lynn Bergman-Rallis, secretary.

James C.P. Berry, Tory Dobrin

All contributions are tax-deductible as provided by law.

Special Thanks to our Major Institutional Supporters:  

Booth Ferris Foundation

The New York Community Trust

The Howard Gilman Foundation

Mertz Gilmore Foundation

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus foundation

Rallis Foundation

Shubert Foundation

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Major support for the Choreography Institute is provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel.

Thanks to our local and state cultural funding agencies for their contributions to our work in New York with support, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; and the NYU Community Fund.

Thanks to our Board of Directors and individual supporters for their generous contributions that make our nonprofit mission possible.  

Make up provided by:

MAC Cosmetics

The official Pointe Shoe Provider of

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo:


Music for ballets on the program is
conducted by Pierre Michel Durand
with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Pavel Prantl, Leader


Liz Harler
Executive Director
[email protected]