Fernando Medina (on the right) is a member of the glittering, globe-trotting Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo troupe. This all-male company was formed in New York in 1974 and immediately attained popular and critical success with its loving parodies of classical ballet—mostly en pointe and en travesti. The Trocks have performed with the likes of Shirley MacLaine and Miss Piggy, and were photographed by the late Richard Avedon for Vogue.
1 How did you come to join the Trock? I started out in the folkloric tradition in Madrid and studied classical ballet in Barcelona. I’ve had an extensive career in modern dance but couldn’t find my place…. Then I saw the Ballet Trock in Madrid and thought it was something I’d like to do. So they offered me a contract—that was six years ago.
2 Was the drag aspect a challenge for you? I’d danced some comedy drag parts in traditional ballet before. But we don’t really try to be completely feminine onstage—we’re still men. We’re just much more interested in glamour.
3 What’s your favorite role? Our repertory is really extensive, so it’s hard to choose. But of what we’ll perform at the Joyce, I prefer Odette, the Queen of the Swans.
4 Touring must be hell, since the company has performed in some 400 cities in the past 30 years. What cities haven’t you performed in that you’d like to? We average 120 performances a year. It’s fun to travel, of course, but very tiring because wherever we go, it’s to work. And then you take the earliest flight out next morning to wherever you’re going next. So there’s little time for fun. Still, I have been all over the world. And I’d really like to see St. Petersburg, Russia.
5 Any advice for stagestruck young men? Come look at the show. Then, if you like what you see, come talk to us. We’re quite open to new members.
Les Ballets Trockadero performs at the Joyce Theater through January 2.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2004