The curtain opens on a stage full of dancers, the majority dressed in all white dresses in tutus except for the one dressed as a prince. The dancers begin their performance of what appears to be a normal ballet. But as the performance goes on, it becomes clear it is not what one might call typical. Dancers begin falling after completing turns, they give other dancers weird looks as they dance around the stage or bump into another. These unusual antics continue throughout the performance. The performers are chasing one another, swans bump into one another and fights break out mid dance and more.
This is Rebels on Pointe, in which filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart provides a behind the scenes look into the all-male comedy ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, also known as the Trockaderos.
Tory Dobrin, the Artistic Director, sits outside in front of a red brick building, which was the site of the very first Trockadero performance in 1974 as he describes how one performance propelled the performers into a full ballet company. Later on, we are brought to Dobrin’s apartment, where he sits surrounded by Trockadero memorabilia from over the years. His walls are adorned in posters, he pulls out stacks of programs and playbills, including one from when they performed on Broadway. He even holds up a framed poster from the very first performance.
OVID.tv ‘s Rebels on Pointe gives a look beyond what is just seen on the stage
We see everything from rehearsals, to traveling to Japan and the UK, getting ready for a performance backstage and the performances themselves. As the dancers get ready to take the stage, they fix one another’s hair, practice some turns and jump around.
We glimpse not only the world of being a member of the Trockaderos, but also get snippets of the personal lives of many of the dancers, and their struggles of finding and keeping a relationship. Memorably, Trockadero members Chase and Carlos are surrounded by their closest friends and family on their wedding day. The ceremony being performed by Chase’s aunt, who just finished chemotherapy. They stand together dressed in their suits and place rings on one another’s hands as they exchange vows. The two are pronounced married and share a short kiss and hug. As Chase gives his Mom a hug following the ceremony, she is crying tears of joy for her son and his new husband.
We also see the struggles of injuries and greater appreciate the short lifespan of their careers. For example, while rehearsing Bobby felt something pull in his knee. He lays on examination table, being instructed to complete different exercises with his legs by a physical therapist. It’s there that he describes how he already had surgery on both knees.
In this writer’s view, this documentary is not just for those who are interested in the world of dance and ballet. Incorporating the personal stories of the troupe’s members and how the company has opened up audiences to a culture they may have not been familiar with, allows the film to go beyond being just a film about ballet. This film is also likely a top pick for those who are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or who are interested in the culture surrounding the community.
Director: Bobbi Hart
Cast: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
For more information visit the OVID.tv page for Rebels on Pointe.
Images courtesy of OVID.tv
About the Author:
Alicia has been writing stories as far back as she can remember. More recently, she stokes her love of stories with crime shows—if they are about creepy serial killers all the better! Her deepest passions, however, are for the rock bands like Palaye Royale, Waterparks and Badflower. Once Alicia graduates from Bowling Green State University, look for her landing her dream job as a music journalist traveling the world.