"Minkus" tag
Margarita Shrainer and Igor Tsvirko in Don Quixote (rehearsal).© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   The reason the Bolshoi’s Don Quixote is so enjoyable is the gusto with which it is performed. It doesn’t aim to be remotely authentically Spanish or even respectful of the original 1869 version…

Royal Ballet School in David Bintley's Flowers of the Forest.© Tristram Kenton. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Summer Show, ROH Main Stage – London

★★★★✰   The choice of works emphasised ensembles more than individuals. It was interesting to see large numbers of young men dancing together, as well as a more usual female corps de ballet.

Marianela Nuñez in Don Quixote.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★★   With Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov… Theirs was a performance that caught up everyone in the sheer pleasure and excitement of spectacular dancing.

Polina Semionova in La Bayadère.© Yan Revazov. (Click image for larger version)

Staatsballett Berlin – La Bayadère (premiere of Ratmansky reconstruction) – Berlin

★★★★✰   In the last several years, the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has developed a sideline to his main choreographic efforts: the reviving of ballets by Marius Petipa in a way that represents the original choreography with as much fidelity as possible…

Viktoria Tereshkina and Kimin Kim in La Bayadere.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – La Bayadere – London

★★★★✰   From the moment Kimin Kim enters with a flourish as Solor in Act I of La Bayadère, we know we’re in for a treat.

Diana Vishneva in Carmen Suite.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Carmen Suite, Infra, Grand Pas from Paquita – London

★★★✰✰   When Maya Plisetskaya commissioned a Carmen-based ballet from Alberto Alonso, co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba, she wanted to shake up Soviet ballet conventions…

Viktoria Tereshkina in Don Quixote.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   Tereshkina and Kim match well physically and temperamentally. She has a lovely high-flying arabesque line and a wide range of slow and fast turns, small and expansive movements.

Misty Copeland and Jeffrey Cirio in Don Quixote.© Rosalie O'Connor. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – Don Quixote – New York

★★★★✰   Don Q is pure entertainment, the kind of extroverted spectacle that the ballet is so very good at.

Ivan Vasiliev, Alexander Omar and Ekaterina Borchenko in Le Corsaire.© Doug Gifford. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – Le Corsaire – Costa Mesa

★★★★✰   On Saturday, Nov. 19, at Segerstrom Hall, Southern California audiences experienced our era’s ultimate executor of Le Corsaire’s balletic thrills, Ivan Vasiliev…

Alexandre Riabko in Nijinsky.© Jeff Busby. (Click image for larger version)

Australian Ballet – Nijinsky – Melbourne

★★★✰✰   Even after his death, Vaslav Nijinsky suffered from the power and control of others…

Olga Smirnova and Danis Rodkin (Kitri & Basil) in Don Quixote.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – London

★★★★✰   The Bolshoi’s Don Quixote continues to delight for the exuberance and skill of its range of performers, with the corps de ballet and demi-soloists taking pride of place.

Mark Samaras and Mia Labuschagne in Sharon Watson's Repetition (2) Change.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Central – 2016 Tour – Tonbridge

★★★✰✰   Ballet Central’s 2016 tour visits 17 theatres with 8 diverse works. Bruce Marriott catches up with one of the paciest nights of dance you will find…

Tamara Rojo, Osiel Gouneo and Cesar Corrales in Le Corsaire.© Laurent Liotardo. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Corsaire – London

Audiences everywhere should be impressed by the consistently high standard of the company’s dancing. ENB is proof that artists from many different countries, backgrounds and training can be formed into a cohesive ensemble.

Viktor Ishchuk, Kateryna Khaniukova and Sergei Litvinenko in Don Quixote.© Ksenia Orlova. (Click image for larger version)

A special Don Quixote in Kiev as Kateryna Khaniukova Returns Home

Kateryna (Katja) Khaniukova, who has been dancing with English National Ballet these last 15 months, returned home to the company where she was a much loved principal dancer – Kiev Ballet. Graham Watts reports on the night and ballet in a country at war…

Hee Seo and Kimin Kim in La Bayadère.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

American Ballet Theatre – La Bayadère – New York

But no end of fine, or even inspired, performances can breathe life into this tired production

Bolshoi Ballet – Don Quixote – New York

…the real star of Don Quixote is the Bolshoi itself.

Boston Ballet in La Bayadere.© Gene Schiavone. (Click image for larger version)

Boston Ballet – La Bayadere – Boston

As for the whole ballet, it’s a 19th century expression of the racist Orientalist view that says India is a land of groveling slaves and despotic rajahs, unbridled lust and pervasive corruption, abundant opium and yielding odalisques. …Once past all that, however, it’s a lavish and thrilling spectacle with abundant pleasures for eye and ear.

Alina Cojocaru and Vadim Muntagirov in Le Corsaire.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

English National Ballet – Le Corsaire (premiere) – Milton Keynes

A first night of superlatives and Tamara Rojo’s done the country (not just London) a terrific service in her first full-evening commission. You’d be daft to miss Le Corsaire as it tours the UK. Bravo all.

Natalia Osipova in Laurencia (from her 2012 Mikhailovsky debut).© The Mikhailovsky Theatre. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – Laurencia with Osipova and Vasiliev – London

When the Mikhailovsky Ballet first brought this production to London in 2010, Laurencia seemed a creakily old-fashioned Soviet drambalet. Now, with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev as the leads, it sparkles with fun, melodrama and commitment…

Full stage shot of the courtyard in Don Quixote.© Robert Shomler. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet San Jose – Don Quixote – San Jose

The good news is that I had a very pleasant afternoon, mostly the result of the dancers actually having a splendid time on stage.

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