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The Mikhailovsky Ballet Presents "Don Quixote" at the David H. Koch Theater
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The Mikhailovsky Ballet Presents "Don Quixote" at the David H. Koch Theater

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The Mikhailovsky Ballet

Don Quixote
Ballet in Three Acts

Vladimir Kekhman, General Director, Mikhailovsky Theatre
Michael Tatarnikov, Musical Director and Principal Conductor
Nacho Duato, Resident Choreographer
Mikhail Messerer, Ballet Master in Chief
Andrey Kuligin, Company Manager
Evgeny Popov, Ballet Master
Michael Vool, Production Manager
Andrew Hill, Lighting Supervisor
KPM Associates, Kevin P. McAnarney, Press

In Performances at the David H. Koch Theater
At Lincoln Center

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 20, 2014

Don Quixote (Mikhailovsky Premiere of Revised Version, 2012): Music by Ludwig Minkus, Choreography by Marius Petipa, Alexander Gorsky, plus new choreography by Anisimova, Belsky, Gerbek, Goleyzovsky, Lopukhov, Staging by Mikhail Messerer, Stage Designer, Vyacheslav Okunev, Costume Engineering, Alla Marusina, Lighting Design, Alexander Kibitkin, Music Director of the Production, Pavel Bubelnikov, Animals by All-Thame Animals Inc., Stage Manager, Pavel Sharshakov, Conductor, Pavel Bubelnikov, Performed by Natalia Osipova, Ivan Vasiliev, Marat Shemiunov, Alexey Kuznetsov, Roman Petukhov, Pavel Maslennikov, Mikhail Venshchikov, Anastasia Soboleva, Olga Semyonova, Ekaterina Borchenko, Veronika Ignatyeva, Zvezdana Martina, Sergey Strelkov, Mariam Ugrekhelidze, Alla Matveyeva, Alexey Malakhov, Anna Naumenko, Svetlana Bednenko, Yulia Tikka, Anna Kulgina, and the Company.

What a memorable evening, anticipated for weeks. Natalia Osipova and her longtime ballet partner, Ivan Vasiliev, partnered as Kitri and Basilio, in the Petipa-Gorsky, Don Quixote, with Ludwig Minkus’ pulsating score. Pavel Bubelnikov, Conductor, kept that music lively and luscious. This ballet takes place in Barcelona and surrounding settings, where Kitri and Basilio are begging Lorenzo, Kitri’s father, to let them marry, while Lorenzo has his eyes on Gamache, a rich nobleman, who bumbles about, filling Lorenzo’s hands with bags of gold coins. A very confused Don Quixote arrives in the village square, with his sidekick, Pancho Sanza, looking for Dulcinea, a lady of his dreams. After campy village dancing and Kitri and Basilio’s virtuosic solos, Basilio, a barber, feigns death, at which point Lorenzo gives in, and Basilio jumps up for more dance. Following, there are Toreador dances by Espada, a Street Dancer and Mercedes, Gypsy Camp solos by a fire, Don Quixote’s Dream, dances led by Queen of the Dryads and Cupid, and, finally, the Pas de Deux and solo Wedding dances, with wild, athletic abandon.

Marat Shemiunov, as Don Quixote, had unusual choreography, as he was center stage much more than in other productions, even during the Dream scene, where he wandered about, in a daze, instead of sleeping side stage. His Sancho Panza, Alexey Kuznetsov, was peripatetic, as well. Roman Petukhov, as Lorenzo, was blustery, yet vulnerable, an endearing pushover. Pavel Maslennikov, as Gamache, played the flirtatious fool, chasing Kitri to no avail. Mikhail Venshchikov, as Espada, Anastasia Soboleva, as the Street Dancer, and Olga Semyonova, as Mercedes, were ebullient and energized, exuding Spanish flair. Ekaterina Borchenko, as The Queen of the Dryads, who was so memorable as Myrta last week in Giselle, ou Les Wilis, once again was fluidly elegant and scintillating in her classical poise and visual expansiveness. Veronika Ignatyeva, as Cupid, gripped the eye, in her dreamy, lyrical theatricality and tiny steps. The regal Duke and Duchess, Roman Petukhov (again) and Zvezdana Martina, allow Kitri and Basilio to marry in their castle. Sergey Strelkov and Mariam Ugrekhelidze, two artists to watch, were astounding in the fiery, dervish Gypsy Dances. Yulia Tikka and Anna Kulgina were Kitri’s Friends and Flower Girls. The Company also danced in Fandango, Variations, Grand Pas, and ensemble dance in the Dream and throughout.

But, tonight, amidst this very busy stage and cast, Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev wowed their fans, old and new. In her Act I solo, Ms. Osipova danced mid-air, like a flying gazelle, while Mr. Vasiliev introduced his pyrotechnics in split leg, mid-air spins and tight, like a top, twirling and forceful fouettés. In the Act III Wedding Pas de Deux, not only did Ms. Osipova complete, with barely a sigh, her 32 fouettés, but she did double and maybe triple-timed spins to each sequential beat, with her fan. The Pas de Deux not only included each to out-do the other, then leave the stage for the other to seize, but the partnered lifts, with Mr. Vasiliev strutting about, holding Ms. Osipova with one arms, tossing her and spinning her in place, took the breath away. The audience was in a frenzy, during the finale and during multiple curtain calls. Vyacheslav Okunev’s stage design and Alla Marusina’s costumes were in perfect tone and style to compliment, but not compete with, this vibrant production. Vladimir Kekhman and Mikhail Messerer deserve kudos for this rare run of four program presentations, during the two week, Mikhailovsky Ballet’s New York debut. Kudos to all.

The Mikhailovsky Ballet
in "Don Quixote"
Courtesy of Costas

The Mikhailovsky Ballet
in "Don Quixote"
Courtesy of Costas

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at