BWW Review: The Bolshoi Ballet's DON QUIXOTE
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.