The versatile dancer Trystan Loucado has made waves in performances with San Diego’s top contemporary and ballet companies. Known for his long limbs and skilled partnering, the term multi-talented is an understatement.
He’s also become a formidable dancer en pointe. You read that right.
Since last summer, he’s been touring internationally with Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the all-male troupe that parodies ballet classics en travesti, ballet in drag.
Not bad for a guy who didn’t start dancing till age 19.
“I surfed and skateboarded, he said, “and I was taking ballroom class. The teacher said, ‘I’ll let you take ballroom class for free if you come to my ballet class.’ I guess they needed men! And I was flexible. Someone asked, ‘Can you do the splits?’ I wanted the free ballroom classes.’’
Loucado ended up with a scholarship to Boston Ballet and dancing professionally with groups such as Nevada Ballet, San Diego Ballet and San Diego Dance Theater.
“Partnering came naturally to me,” he said, “and I always appreciated the line and beauty of it. I’ve always respected the women in dance, and in ballet they work so much harder than the men.”
But forget about burning all of those calories lifting women (and men). What about those tight-fitting shoes?
“I wear the largest pointe shoe Bloch makes,” he chuckled. “I wear a size 11 in men’s, that would be a 13 in women’s street shoes. I’m just over six feet, so I’m proportional, but if I were any bigger, I wouldn’t be able to wear a pointe shoe. “
Wearing out many pair of large shoes, Loucado just finished a month tour in New Zealand and Australia, and three weeks at The Joyce in New York.
“Australia looks a lot like San Diego,” he said,” especially the trees, eucalyptus and king palms. I was glad to be mentioned in a review there. Someone said their ‘favorite was the tall Gumby one’ that was cheerful. At least I was their favorite.”
The Trocks, as the troupe is fondly called, makes fun of the old Ballet Russe in a reverent way. You don’t need to be a ballet historian to appreciate the humor, but it helps. Loucado says they like to say they are paying homage to ballet.
“We take on old-school names,” he said. “My name is Minnie Van Driver,” and my boy name is “Mischa Youloustski. “
On the company website, Mischa’s biography explains: “Mischa was dismissed from the Kirov Ballet in 1991 when he blackmailed the horn section of the orchestra and forced them to play Papa Don’t Preach in the third act of Romeo and Juliet while he vogued en point…”
It’s all in good fun, but the men can really dance.
“We dance so much in Trockadero,” he said, “and some days at the Joyce we did double shows. I sprained my ankle a few months ago, but my feet are okay. They never stop hurting. You get used to it.”
After the New York performances, Loucado flew home, slept a few hours, and headed to Dance Place for rehearsals, his old stomping ground.
He’s pleased to take a short working vacation and rejoin Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater for Cabaret Dances, Jan. 19th and 20th, at the White Box a short walk away.
“It’s been crazy fun, and it feels good to let my feet spread out,” he laughed. “Jean created a solo for me, and we worked on it in September, and I’ll also dance in a quartet. Yes, I’ll dance in bare feet. Right after the show on Sunday, I go back to New York.”
Count five days of rehearsals with the Trocks, and Loucado crosses the pond for performances in the United Kingdom, Spain and the Canary Islands. He’ll bring several pair of pointe shoes along.
“The pointe shoes are a whole process,” he said, “and costumes are outrageous. It takes an hour to do my makeup – I have to contour. I am unrecognizable. It’s kind of odd that I’ve danced the Nutcracker prince with San Diego Ballet, and now I’ll be the Sugar Plum fairy in the next photo shoot!”
Les Ballet Trockoderos de Monte Carlo starts its U.S. tour in April and May. Loucado says a large group from San Diego plans to meet up with him in Las Vegas.
“I’ve heard that a caravan is heading to Vegas for the shows at the Smith Center,” he said. “It’s hard to believe. I didn’t plan for this.”
You can catch Trystan Loucado in bare feet in Cabaret Dances, at the White Box Jan. 19 and 20. For this year’s program, Jean Isaacs takes inspiration from Water Lilies, French Impressionist painter Claude Monet’s masterpieces.