Mariinsky Ballet's Don Quixote is likely to be a balletomane’s dream ticketby Neil Norman / July 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Mariinsky Ballet, Royal Opera House 25th July to 5th August
For a long time Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote was my least favourite classical ballet. I could never see the point of reducing the role of the hero to a walk-on. Several productions have convinced me otherwise, however. Carlos Acosta’s exuberant make-over for the Royal Ballet was persuasive and the bubbling Bolshoi version last year was a revelation. Petipa and composer Ludwig Minkus premiered the ballet in 1869 before expanding it in 1871. The Mariinsky puts the emphasis on interpretation and presentation more than innovation and experimentation. With dancers of the calibre of Viktoria Tereshkina and flame-haired Elena Yevseyeva taking turns as Kitri, it is likely to be a balletomane’s dream ticket.
English National Ballet, Royal Festival Hall, 1st to 5th August
If Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is the most erotic and John Cranko’s is the most streetwise then Rudolf Nureyev’s is the most sumptuously romantic and technically demanding. It takes bold dancers to do justice to Nureyev’s cinematic vision and Tamara Rojo’s pumped-up ENB has plenty of contenders including the spring-loaded Vadim Muntagirov, the astonishing Alina Cojocaru and the smouldering James Forbat.