BWW Reviews: The Bolshoi Ballet's DON QUIXOTE

BWW Reviews: The Bolshoi Ballet's DON QUIXOTE

BWW Reviews: The Bolshoi Ballet in Don Quixote Lincoln Center Festival July 22, 2014

By Holly Kerr

The brilliant, bold and beautiful Bolshoi Ballet presented its classic Don Quixote at the Koch Theatre on July 22, 2014 as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. This Don Quixote is so rich in detail and so full of spectacular dancing and wonderful acting that all other productions pale in comparison. They can't help it-they're the Bolshoi-they "own" Don Quixote--this passionate dancing is in their blood. What becomes trite sometimes in other productions of Don Quixote is full-blooded art with the Bolshoi. It is alive in the gorgeous, lush, feminine women and the drenched-in-virility men, the beautiful arms, expansive chests, glorious virtuosity, stupendous character dancing like nowhere else, and delightful panache and pastiche in both dancing and acting.

Don Quixote was revived and revised in Russia several times since the original one by Marius Petipa for the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre in 1869. The current production was restored by Alexei Fadeyechev, after Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, in 1999. In its many guises, the Bolshoi has performed Don Quixote over 1,000 times in the past 145 years.

The cast was wonderful. Maria Alexandrova was the flirtatious and fabulous Kitri. With her gorgeous arms, incredible footwork and faster than lighting turns-make her the perfect Kitri.

Basilio, her love interest, was the high-flying charmer Vladislav Lantratov. The acting roles of Don Quixote-Alexei Loparevich, his sidekick, Sancho Panza-Roman Simachev, Gamache, Kitri's wealthy suitor-- Denis Savin and all other cast members was lucidly clear across the footlights. The Russians are trained from childhood in the specific style of mime/stage acting required by the classical ballets, which their American counterparts are not, and this skill is lacking in most American and European productions.

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Holly Kerr Holly Kerr is a University of North Carolina School of the Arts ballet graduate and holds a M.A. and B.A. in Dance Education from SUNY Empire State College. After a professional dance and theatrical career performing in the USA and internationally, she was a Teaching Artist and Teacher Trainer for the New York City Ballet Education Department for 11 years. Miss Kerr conducted master classes and choreography workshops based on the New York City Ballet repertory for NYC high school dance students at Lincoln Center and in over 20 performing arts magnet high schools and public and private high school dance programs. As Instructor Trainer for the New York City Ballet Workout, she trained national and international dance teachers in ballet and fitness pedagogy. Miss Kerr was a Teaching Artist for the American Ballet Theatre Education Department and Choreographer for the Make a Ballet high school ballet program. She serves on the Faculties of Broadway Dance Center and Boys and Girls Harbor Conservatory and is Ballet Teaching Artist for New York City Center. She teaches master classes at national and international dance centers and dance conventions, and has lectured on ballet at Lincoln Center and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs.

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