Don Quixote

May 2, 7:30 PM, Conexus Arts Centre

Today the names of new choreographers and innovators who create the modern dance language differing drastically from the academic tradition regularly appear in the ballet stratosphere. Nevertheless, the ballet classics featuring the traditions of Russian choreography acquires particular charm. This is surprising, but the more experiments in dancing there are, the more valuable classical pieces become. Replicas of the latter are in great demand by ballet houses and are enthusiastically welcomed by the public. ROYAL MOSCOW BALLET, one of Moscow’s most professional ballet companies, builds its repertoire on classical time-proven performances, such as Don Quixote by L. Minkus, the glory of world classical ballet.

This ballet can be rightfully called one of the most popular performances in the ROYAL MOSCOW BALLET theater repertoire. The choreography by M. Petipa and the interpretation by A. Gorsky will never look obsolete. The libretto to the ballet includes the chapters of Cervantes’ novels devoted to the wedding of Kiteria and Kamacho (called Kitri and Basil in the ballet). Don Quixote and Sancho Panza took secondary roles in the interpretation. The parade of sparkling and virtuoso dances that the ballet is generously saturated with is the most attractive feature of the performance where the plot does not matter that much any longer –it is the skill of the dancers that is emphasized. The style is mainly predetermined by the music by L. Minkus (1827-1907), the Czech violinist, chapel master and composer, who worked in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg for a lengthy period of time. The cooperation between music and choreography provide the Don Quixote ballet with the qualities so eagerly sought after by real ballet admirers – these are the temperament, the emotion, and the fascination. This is a real image of Spain as we perceive it: it may be slightly naïve, yet it is sincere and unaffected. Beautiful scenery and costumes by Y. Samodurov get the audience absorbed in the wonderful world of the ancient Spanish square. Perfectly synchronized, smooth and precise movements by the corps-de-ballet add special charm to the performance making the viewer increasingly involved in the emotional pace of the show.
The part of Basil is the favorite with many ballet dancers of the world. At the ROYAL MOSCOW BALLET theater it is perfectly performed by Sergey Skvortsov. His charismatic personality and virtuoso technique are characterized by precision and academic style. This part allows to fully discover the dancer’s gift. It has an impressive history as it was performed by Vladimir Vasiliev, Rudolf Nureev, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It may seem that these great artists have already revealed all the nuances and opportunities embedded in this part. But this is where the magic appeal of the classics is found: each new and bright individuality of the dancer allows to discover new facets of the character and keeps surprising by the perfection of the dancing technique. The part of Kitri is performed by Lyudmila Titova, a young and brilliant dancer who has received numerous awards at international contests and festivals. Her Kitri is an alluring young Spanish girl, tender and daring, loving and unapproachable. Lyudmila Titova is a vivid representative of the Moscow school. Her pas are precise and sure, she begins 32 fouettes with a triple pirouette and proceeds with double pirouettes all 32 times. Her dancing technique is an exuberant whirl, however, technique is not a purpose in itself for this dancer. It is a means of creating the character for the sake of creating the character. Here one cannot help but quote Alexander S. Pushkin’s phrase of ‘the soaring filled with soul’.

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