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Minkus: Don Quixote (Royal Opera House)
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Carlos Acosta's first venture directing one of ballet's 19th century classics was eagerly anticipated, as was his own starring role in the production (as Basilio), opposite the Argentinian Royal Ballet principal Marianella Nuñez (Kitri). Still built on Petipa's original choreography, Acosta's clear dramatic structure and vivid stage action gave the ‘boy gets girl despite her father’ story a more convincing air than usual, with Don Quixote's parallel obsession with Dulcinea-Kitri coherently woven into the plot.
"... when Acosta and Núñez, as the story's sweethearts, start sparring, they manage a natural, coquettish rapport that's quite irresistible, Acosta's megawatt charisma balanced by Núñez's fizzy, feisty, fan-wielding vigour. This translates seamlessly into their partner work and firecracker solos... Meanwhile, there are terrific supporting character performances from Gary Avis and Bennet Gartside, and a sharp and humorously turbo-machismo turn from Ryoichi Hirano as the toreador Espada." (Metro)
"What Acosta has principally aimed for is to clarify the narrative, find a more contemporary vibe for the characters and, above all, to rediscover the ballet's fun. In that, he has largely succeeded. He also has Marianela Nunez as his Kitri, whose triumph was not only to dance and flirt her way radiantly through first night nerves, but to find in Kitri a delicacy and detail that is often overlooked in the role's grandstanding technique." (The Guardian)
"... a jovial and entertaining showcase for classical dancing at its most demanding and exuberant. One of the pleasures of this ballet is to be tickled by Minkus's infectiously melodious score... Marianela Nuñez and Acosta delivered sparky, engaging performances." (The Times)
"But while this may be Acosta's night, the show really belongs to his Kitri, Marianela Nuñez. A woman of sparky personality, teasing wit and steely technique, you can see why every man in the village is in love with her. The stage could have been a lot dimmer without her, but Nuñez brings bewitching warmth and down-to-earth humanity to this fantastical folly of a show. " (Evening Standard ★★★★)
Marianela Nuñez (Kitri)
Carlos Acosta (Basilio)
Christopher Saunders (Don Quixote)
Philip Mosley (Sancho Panza)
Gary Avis (Lorenzo)
Bennet Gartside (Gamache)
Ryoichi Hirano (Espada)
Laura Morera (Mercedes)
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Martin Yates
Stage Director: Carlos Acosta
Television Director: Ross MacGibbon
Designer: Tim Hatley
Choreographer: Carlos Acosta (after Marius Petipa)
Catalogue Number: OA1133D
Date of Performance: 2013
Running Time: 125 minutes
Sound: Dolby Digital + 5.1 DTS / 24 bit LPCM / 5.1 DTS Master Audio HD
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic
Label: Opus Arte
Lavishly decorated and costumed in historical settings and danced sublimely by the cast. (IRR,Jan'15)
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After finally receiving the Blu-ray from Amazon, I can only say Amen to the thorough review by I. Giles. The extra feature of Carlos explaining his views and presenting rehearsal footage really adds to the production, displaying the work behind the dancing, enhancing appreciation of the cast.
Marianela Nunez is in her element. Laura Morera shines as the street dancer.
I think Carlos chose a great way to bring his view of staging and choreography to a ballet that he has danced many times over the years and I hope the DVD includes some of the "specials" we were able to see in the live feed.
What's with the horrible mustache of the "Spada"? Never seen a "matador" with mustache before, either in ballet or in the arena.