Fri, Mar 01, 2002 - Page 8 News List

Swan song for traditional ballet

By Gavin Phipps  /  STAFF REPORTER

It's probably just as well Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died over 100 years ago.

So sensitive was the Russian composer that, according to many a historian,

even the smallest of inconsistencies would upset him terribly.

So needless to say the thought of the all-male cast of The Russian Festival

Men's Ballet prancing around in tutus and making a comedic farce of Swan

Lake would probably have driven him into a homicidal rage.

Not that it is the oddball ballet troupe's intention to belittle or ridicule

the late great composer. The troupe's members are all highly trained and

professional ballet dancers and the concept behind the group's humorous

re-workings of classical ballet is purely one of entertainment. Since the

tutu-clad burly Russian blokes with hairy legs and five o'clock shadows

first pirouetted their way around a stage in Moscow in 1991, the group has

gone on to play to packed houses in London, Paris, Rome and nearly every

other European capital.

Audiences in Taiwan will get the opportunity to see the eccentric ballet

group perform for the first time ever over the coming month, when they

embark on a nationwide tour of its latest production, The Comedic Legend of

Swan Lake. Ballet purists, needless to say, are best advised to stay at


The Russian Festival Men's Ballet will be performing The Comedic Legend of

Swan Lake nationwide starting this Sunday through March 24. Tickets for

performances cost between NT$300 and NT$2,000 depending on the venue. For

further information and a full list of venues and show times checkout ERA's

Web site at

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