Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Keep on Trockin': Ballet Trockadero dances through Chicago Feb. 11
by Matt Simonette

This article shared 2328 times since Fri Feb 10, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Performer Duane Gosa admits that going to the ballet can sometimes be intimidating for some audiences. But he is quick to reassure that the audience for his particular dance troupe—New York City-based Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo or, the "Trocks"—has nothing to worry about.

"It's a fun show," Gosa, a Chicago native who now calls Brooklyn home, explained. "This show really opens [ballet] up to all audiences—all types of people, demographics, ages. It becomes something you can easily enjoy and easily understand."

Chicagoans will have the opportunity to see for themselves when the all-male troupe plays the Auditorium Theater, 50 East Ida B. Wells Dr., the evening of Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Gosa dances two key roles in the performance: ballerina Helen Highwaters and danseur Vladimir Legupski. There is always kind of a meta aspect to a Trocks performance, since Gosa and his colleagues are interpreting the roles of performers interpreting their dance roles.

"It feels a little bit more light-hearted," Gosa said. "If you do make a mistake in a rehearsal, you're not so anxious about trying to cover it up. Maybe that mistake can turn into something that works onstage. You can take those mistakes and use them, or try to act your way out of it, rather than trying hard to hide something."

Director Tory Dobrin describes it as "very high-level dancing and very high-level comedy…The most important element is for the audience to enjoy themselves—and they usually do."

The Trucks haven't performed at the Auditorium in many years, so Dobrin assembled a greatest-hits program from the Trocks' repertoire for the Feb. 11 performance, he said.

As director, it is Dobrin's job to set the tone for the Trocks' performances and performers. He admitted that's not an easy job managing a troupe with myriad personalities and sensibilities, but he likened the Trocks' organization to a "mom-and-pop store," with just a handful of individuals responsible for numerous logistical duties.

Dobrin usually matches new performers with their names and dance personae. Usually when a dancer is hired, there is not enough time for them to develop their own characterizations, so Dobrin has a veritable stock company of characters to choose from.

"I have a library on my computer," he explained. "I go through and I kind of feel out who that person is, and I pick a name that suits them. We bring in new names all the time, but I like to keep the older names around too. I'm really into the continuity of the past into the present. … I talk a lot about the past and where we're coming from so that the younger generation of dancers know that it didn't just start with them—[the Trocks] started in 1974."

Dobrin began as a performer with the Trocks in 1980.

"It's kind of indicative of my personality—I'm someone who just kind of goes with the flow," he said. That year, he was in a dance class with someone who'd danced with the Trocks and knew that the troupe was looking for performers for a tour in South America. "I went and I was hired—it was as simple as that."

Dobrin added, "My aunt was a PR person in Los Angeles and did their PR [there]. … So I was aware of the company already, and the tour in South America was super-fascinating."

Gosa came to the Trocks about 10 years ago. He had been dancing in New York for several years and had in fact stopped doing ballet because "I was really over the role of a traditional male dancer. I felt like I didn't have the characteristics and qualities to be that great at it—I wasn't that strong."

But he was tempted to audition for the Trocks when he saw an opening come up, and he was quickly hired.

"I looked forward to being in a queer space," Gosa recalled. "Growing up in dance, you are around a lot of females, so you don't really have that kind of space to connect with people. I remember being really excited to work in a queer male environment."

At the time of his hiring, Gosa was also excited for the chance at full-blown drag. "Everyone has done it for Halloween…It's close, but not close enough. I knew I could do that better. I was excited to be in an environment where people are really skilled at this…I've changed so much being in a group like this."

He called Helen Highwaters a mix of Lucille Ball and Regina King: "She is very subtle—not over-the-top—but somebody who commands your attention with a variety of facial expressions. She is also Black—trying hard to be a Black ballerina on the stage."

He likened Vladimir Legupsky, meanwhile, as a "macho Disney prince"—someone who parodies the cavalier masculine dancer's qualities Gosa years ago had been made to feel he was lacking. Legupsky has "a big, puffed-up chest, and is really arrogant, with a coiffed wig."

Gosa was eagerly anticipating returning to Chicago for the Feb. 11 performance. He was born in the Windy City, and though he left at a young age, he spent numerous summers there as a youngster.

"I have so much family there who hasn't had a chance to see me perform, so I'm really excited to be there," he said.

This article shared 2328 times since Fri Feb 10, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

ART on THE MART's summer programs include Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, Pride celebration 2023-05-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — ART on THE MART, an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, will introduce two new commissions this summer. Building Light, a new projection by Gensler, ...

Gay News

South Chicago Dance Theatre to debut 'Memoirs of Jazz' on June 10 2023-05-09
--From a press release - (May 8, 2023) Through the 1960s and '70s, Jazz in the Alley on Chicago's South Side was a hotbed for jazz and a meeting place for some of the country's prominent musicians, visual artists, poets, activists, ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers presents June 10 "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert and Dance 2023-05-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will present "Better Times Will Come" Pride Concert & Dance, Saturday, June 10, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. ...

Gay News

Andersonville Midsommarfest to return June 9-11 in its 57th year 2023-04-30
--From a press release - CHICAGO (April 27, 2023) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome summer with Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer street festivals. Now in its 57th year, the ann ...

Gay News

Ballet review: Joffrey's Little Mermaid returns to darker original, a complex reflection on desire 2023-04-27
- The Little Mermaid Choreographer: John Neumeier; Score: Lera Auerbach. At: Joffrey Ballet at Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive. Tickets: 312-386-8905 or; $36-$200. Runs through April 30 It's likely that many parents bringing small ...

Gay News

House History: World-premiere musical was inspired by the early days of '80s house music 2023-04-18
- Gay composer Scott Free can rattle off the names of several documentaries celebrating the Chicago origins of house music. This style of electronic dance music was pioneered by Black DJs like Frankie Knuckles and Larry Heard ...

Gay News

Christopher Rudd's ballet Touche explores dynamics of gay love 2023-04-10
- Jamaican-born dance creator Christopher Rudd premieres his powerful choreography for Chicago audiences at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive, on April 14, 2023. The all-male partnering piece titled Touche is part of the ...

Gay News

Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project to present dance concert 'Sans Pareil' 2023-03-14
--From a press release - Deeply Rooted Dance Theater joins the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project again to take the stage in a dance concert entitled Sans Pareil—French for "unparalleled," a nod to the Haitian lineage of Chicago's founder, Jean-Baptiste Pointe ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Little Richard, Indigo Girls, Rodriguez's honor, dance film, Pedro Pascal 2023-03-10
Video below - Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortes' Sundance opening-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything will debut in theaters and on VOD ...

Gay News

CGMC to re-create music videos in drag with 'Lipstick & Lyrics: On MTV' 2023-02-10
--From a press release - CHICAGO—Chicago Gay Men's Chorus presents their annual live-singing drag show, Lipstick & Lyrics. This year's theme: On MTV. Come enjoy CGMC's drag performers as they recreate epic music videos. With dancers, costumes and sass, these live ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: 48th Ward candidate Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth on why running, biggest differences from other challengers 2023-01-31
- A lifelong Chicagoan, Leni Manaa-Hoppeworth is running to become the next 48th Ward Alderperson. She is currently a small business owner (Chicago Dance Supply, 5301 N. Clark St., for the past 20 years) in the ward ...

Gay News

Baton Show Lounge unveils new male burlesque 2022-11-23
- On the evening of Nov. 17, Baton Show Lounge, 4713 N. Broadway, presented Burlesque Royale, a new male review featuring local and national talent. Produced by noted photographer Ramsey Prince, the sold-out show featured vocalists Danika ...

Gay News

DANCE Deeply Rooted performing Nov. 5 at Auditorium Theatre 2022-10-11
- The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., will present Deeply Rooted Dance Theater—a Chicago-based African-American contemporary dance company—in a one-night-only performance Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. as ...

Gay News

AT&T celebrates National Coming Out Day (early) with performances, panel 2022-10-10
- AT&T—in partnership with Center on Halsted and with the participation of—held "Turn Up the Love," a pre-celebration for National Coming Out Day that took place Oct. 8 at its flagship store at 600 N. Michigan ...

Gay News

DANCE Joffrey celebrates return of 'The Nutcracker' on Dec. 3-27 2022-10-06
- This holiday season, The Joffrey Ballet celebrates the return of Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's production of The Nutcracker. Set in Chicago's World Fair in 1893, The Nutcracker will be presented at the Lyric Opera House, 20 ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.