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Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

When you buy tickets for an all-male ballet where the performers wear tutus and dance delicately en pointe in re-interpretations of classics such as Swan Lake, chances are you're going for some laughs.

At Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, audiences come for the comedy but quickly get pulled into the beauty; the accomplishment leaps out from the stage as these athletic, finessed men perform some of ballet's greatest hits with a giant gender twist. "It's all done for comedy; it's all done for entertainment. It doesn't mean that the dancing is not refined and wonderful," says artistic director Tory Dobrin.

The Trocks were established in New York in 1974, in the aftermath of the Stonewall Riots and during the height of the dance boom. Initially a late-night drag show performed in downtown Manhattan, the company expanded its reach, going mainstream and touring. Its first tour destination, in fact, was Toronto, in 1976.

Now celebrating its 40th season, the Trocks will mark a major milestone during a Western Canada swing this month: If Dobrin's math is right, their Vancouver performance on Jan. 24 will be their 3,400th.