The Royal Ballet comes back to Chicago from London, after a period of 37 years, bringing Don Quixote to Auditorium Theatre, as it closes 125th Anniversary Dance Season. The famous El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes inspired the original ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa for the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet of Moscow back in 1869, set to the music of Ludwig Minkus. Since then, various versions have been staged, invariably in reference to the early adaptations. The present production by a renowned choreographer and dancer Carlos Acosta of the Royal Ballet emphasizes the theatre’s strong points while introducing elements of novelty, including bits of light comedy and pantomime in characters’ communications with each other.
In this reincarnation as in many others, we see Don Quixote opening the play, engulfed in the fantasies about his dream- woman, Dulcinea, — but then his role becomes supportive, taking to the background, while yielding the young love story to come to the fore. Carlos Acosta himself danced Basilio, and Marianela Nuñez starred as Kitri on the opening night. The love story between Basilio and Kitri unfolds against the backdrop of rural community life in XVII century Spain. The rich interplay between the main characters and all the others mark this production. Audiences delighted in joyous and athletically powerful dancing of Basilio and Kitri, in their expressive and elegant rendering, as well as in intimate moments that they shared, with each other and with the viewers. The Gypsy camp in Act II remained memorable for its innovation, mixed ballet and flamenco dancing that added to the overall atmosphere of holiday and festival of life.
The organizers also note that The Auditorium Theatre’s International Dance Series is sponsored by the NIB Foundation, with additional support for The Royal Ballet’s “Don Quixote” provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. The Saturday evening performance is made possible through the generosity of Helen Hall Melchior. The Sunday performance is made possible through the generosity of Patti Selander Eylar. «Seeing the company perform on our landmark stage will be a memory of a lifetime for all of us,” noted Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson.
S Telis, L Mogul for Kontinent Media