The EvilImp™ 'Trouping About'

The sheer volume of insufferable cretins in the dance-world that occupy the higher echelons, self imposed or otherwise, of this particular art form can be readily identified by their use of one single word, that word is "troupe".

Everybody's favourite, albeit usually inaccurate but what the hell, online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, doesn't even lower itself to have an entry for this particular word. They do have several thousand words on Transformers™ and high powered hunting rifles but even they will not sully their good name with "troupe".

In the minds of the people who use this word we can only imagine that it conjures up some sepia toned image of the days of vaudevillian simplicity. The days of Laurel & Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and The Three Stooges. A simpler time when men were men, women wore impossible dresses and Alistair Spalding would have felt completely at home. It was the world of the music hall, massive wars and Spanish Flu.

Today of course we still have wars, albeit smaller and more precise ones, and some kind of flu epidemic on a regular basis. Music halls are gone however, which is a good thing, but in the minds of the elite, they are very much alive.

Here in TheLab™ the word "troupe" conjures up the idea of some fluffy little pass time that a group of hopeless optimists concern themselves with while the "grown ups" deal with running banks, supermarkets and textile mills staffed with singing orphans!

As far as we know not one single dance company has ever gone bankrupt owing billions of dollars or screwed the world up so bad even the anarchist were afraid. Grown ups? Don't make us laugh.

To us it's a way of cutting the art form down a notch or two. So, in the interests of clarity and to acknowledge that we live in the 21st century, let's make some stuff abundantly clear.

We have "DANCE COMPANIES" now not f******* "Dance Troupes". Should the elite and the pretentious come over all nostalgic then we suggest you bugger off to your basement, light some candles and put on a few skits for your friends and family because the entertainment value would be almost on par with Mr Chaplin, Mr Laurel and Mr Hardy, don't even get us started on The Three Stooges.

Today's professional dance companies are staffed out with highly skilled dancers, skills that far exceed those of the dancers of yester-year. Don't believe us? Crank up a few videos of Martha's old works and see how they compare!

A professional dance company of todays vintage is a professionally run organsiation (most of the time). Even the smallest companies far outstrip the development and communication capabilities of Sergei Diaghilev and his merry band of monstrously unstable nut jobs that stomped around Europe back in the day.

New York City Ballet is still hamstrung by George Balanchine despite the fact the guys been dead for nearly 27 years. It's time to move on, to get over it. We don't have to forget but we really do have to move on.

So let's consign the word "troupe" to the trash where it belongs and start showing a bit of progressive thinking.

Say it loud and say it proud; "DANCE COMPANY".

  • Sarah Blanc

    SOOOOO funny- I heard someone say today "I saw DV8 the dance troupe....."

    hahhaaha never heard it before. so funny people really are a bit behind hahaha x

    I didnt correct them, I just thought it was too funny. Could not believe my ears.

  • melina

    I f**king hate the reference to an art form I have proudly studied, continue to perfect and push artistic boundaries with, being belittled as 'oh do you do that in a troupe?' The polite side of me just says well it's a little different from those bygone eara references, whilst inside my mind wills me to say NO YOU STUPID IGNORANT OLD GIT ITS A COMPANY, DO YOU HEAR ME A COMPANY WITH DIRECTORS AND ACCOUNTANTS AND BLOODY TALENTED DANCERS!!! Followed closely by 'Contemporary what's that ballet without the point shoes?' Ahhhh it makes my blood boil! bloody grown ups aye? leave them to cocking up the economy I say whilst we all try to make a difference in other ways.

  • Ben



    Glad to see some more people commenting today!

  • Kim

    Couldn't agree more - troupe is a silly word. Viva la Reisistance!

    As for the Spalding regurgitation, well all I can say is I hope Merce knows how lucky he is to have inspired genius such as Alistair's to join the dance world. Where would we be without him? He is after all the man who revealed Pina Bausch to the world.

  • Ben

    Fair enough...

    Have you seen Spalding's article on Cunningham in The Observer? hehehe You will like it.

    + interesting review/comment form Luke Jennings!

  • It's the final paragraph that really pulls on the heart strings, or is it the gag reflex? ;o)

    [ Spalding on Merce ]

  • well i have been asked if i had some good dancers in "my stable"! so troupe is not so bad...although it alludes to some sort of circus antics!

  • Ben



    troupe   noun, verb, trouped, trouping. Theater

    Use troupe in a Sentence

    –noun 1. a company, band, or group of singers, actors, or other performers, esp. one that travels about.

    so what's wrong with it if it's factually correct?

    I didn't know the word troupe was meant to have Laurel & Hardy connotations...

  • Look at it this way, two of the oldest companies in the world; Martha Graham Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Not a "troupe" to be seen!

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