PAUL Ghiselin claims to be “the oldest living ballerina in the world”.
At 51, maybe, maybe not, but he can certainly claim to be the longest-serving member of The Trocks – Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.
Not just that, he is a principal dancer, famous for his portrayal of the Dying Swan. The 15-strong, all-male Trocks troupe will be at the Canberra Theatre soon with their amazing combination of masculine power and balletic grace.
Despite the name, they have nothing to do with Monte Carlo. New York is their home.
In the role of the ageing ballerina Ida Nevasayneva (say it out loud), Ghiselin has become “rather well-known” for his Dying (but really moulting) Swan.
“I wear a tutu stuffed to the gills with feathers,” he says. “Nobody expects a moulting tutu.”
“We don’t try to pretend that we are women, we’re still very much male dancers, we just wear tutus and tiaras and long eyelashes… we don’t like to make ourselves look like drag queens” he says.
“But women learn to dance ‘en pointe’ from the start, so it was a bit tricky at first.”
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, at the Canberra Theatre, November 6 – 8, Bookings to 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au