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Your reaction: Don Quixote 2014

What did you think of the return of Carlos Acosta's sun-soaked Royal Ballet production?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 November 2014 at 10.24am | 21 Comments

Press reviews:

Independent ★★★★
Telegraph ★★★★
Times ★★★★
Express ★★★★
Arts Desk ★★★★
Guardian ★★★
Financial Times ★★★

What did you think of Don Quixote?

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

26 November 2014 at 10.24am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by Carlos Acosta, Don Quixote, Production, review, Social Media, twitter

This article has 21 comments

  1. Jakegee responded on 27 November 2014 at 12:30pm Reply

    Simply wonderful to see this exciting production again!! 'Bravo!' to Carlos, not only for your wonderful performance as Basilio, but also for your amazing choreography, which makes this the most infectiously happy item in the Royal Ballet repertory. The audience were rightfully ecstatic in their thunderous applause. Marianela was perfection in her role of Kitri and Carlos seems to defy his age in his youthful portrayal of Basilio. I thought the lighting was much improved in Act 2 for the Gypsy Dance and Don Quixote's Dream Sequence, which I found rather dim last season, not giving full justice to the wonderful stage sets. Now I'm looking forward to seeing Alexander Campbell as Basilio tonight, then a repeat of Tuesday's cast on Friday!! Home to Scotland on Saturday, but back to see "Alice" on 6th, then Carlos & Marianela again on 15th Dec. in this stellar performance. A huge 'Thank you!'to all involved!

  2. Clive Hasnip responded on 1 December 2014 at 6:25pm Reply

    An absolutely fabulous treat for the eyes & the ears. Beautiful costumes & 3 acts of wonderful ballet.
    Marianela stunned us all with her brilliance & Carlos helped to show her off perfectly. She has a gorgeous temperament and has always fitted in well in the RB. We lost Darcey, then Tamara but thankfully we still have Marianela.
    The orchestra are always so relaxed so they must be old hands at their craft.
    A delightful evening & one which I shall always treasure.

  3. Gianmarco responded on 2 December 2014 at 8:36am Reply

    Saw much better Don Quixote productions abroad with much better Spanish flair. Don't like Acosta at all being too slow and not fitting by aspects! Watch an *old* stunning set-up with Baryshnikov and ABT.

  4. Regarding the performance of 20 Dec, I'm very sorry to see Osipova in an accident on stage. I hope she'll recover soon. But what I am extremely upset about is the fact that several of the major variations were cut out today, including the Basil Variation and the wine cup variation. Could someone please explain why the variations were cut out? There were also at least four other very obvious technical mistakes coming from the corps today. All that said, I really want to have a good impression of Don Quixote at the ROH, and to that extent I have booked another ticket in January to see Osipova again.

  5. Jill Prior responded on 22 December 2014 at 10:50am Reply

    Saturday’s matinee of this delightful production was thrilling. What a warm, sensual and believable couple Alexander Campbell and Akane Takada made. Alongside his attacking, elegant dancing I felt Campbell’s persuasive ‘sweet-talk’ would win any woman’s heart. And Takada’s charming and vivacious portrayal of Kitri well matched him. No wonder those two spectacular lifts (I don’t know what they’re called) were so solid for both of them.
    The rest of the cast were equally enthusiastic in providing a continuous backdrop of festivity. And I did like the gypsy dancer who replaced an injured Bennet Gartside at the last minute!
    Carlos Acosta’s English and lyrical production is so right for the Royal Ballet bringing bright rays of summer to our dull December weather. Let’s hope it becomes a regular Christmas treat – as established as Nutcracker.

  6. Dull production, dull costumes beige and mauve says it all as far as the visuals are concerned and as for the re-orchestration, well Minkus was not a great composer, but the standard orchestration used by other productions is far livelier than the one used in this production which only succeeds in sucking the life out of it. It is productions like this that make you realise how wise De Valois was to decline to Nureyev's offer to mount a production of Don Q for the company. This is the third time that the company has mounted a production of this work and none of them have been successful.This is probably the least theatrically competent of the three. There are too many occasions when the action stops abruptly and the audience is left with an empty stage.The corps are left milling about on the side of the stage filling the gaps with a lot of shouting which only draws attention to the gaps in the action. The humour is laboured and some of the dancing not much better.

    I understand that Mr O'Hare wants to overhaul the repertory but pieces like this are not the way forward.Why agree to stage a ballet with a dubious choreographic history and an undistinguished score when the company has works which are rarely performed and would suit it much better such as Two Pigeons.A mixed bill of Les Patineurs and Two Pigeons would have provided far more real dancing for the company and the audience and just as importantly given the younger members of the company an opportunity to perform. Much better than using Symphonic Variations as a training opportunity.

  7. Jochen (Germany) responded on 4 January 2015 at 3:46pm Reply

    I saw Don Quixote fr more than 20 times over 3 decades in all main choreographies. Having seen the performance end of November with Nunez/Acosta, I really felt priviledged to see this outstanding cast and this wonderful production! Carlos Acosta has done and excellent job.
    Jochen (Germany)

  8. John responded on 5 January 2015 at 11:29pm Reply

    Tonight's performance by Golding and Tsygankova is absolutely stunning. Great chemistry, absolutely perfect technique, amazing solo variations ... Perhaps the married couple should be invited to perform at the ROH more often. They remind me of Nureyev and Fonteyn.

  9. Alina responded on 8 January 2015 at 11:48am Reply

    We have seen Don Quixote performance on 5 January with Anna Tsygankova and Matthew Golding. It was absolutely fabulous, we enjoyed it very, very much! Anna and Matthew have perfect partnership and they created amazing masterpiece together. He was one of the best Basilios I ever seen, flamboyant and virtuoso. And Anna danced with such passion and love, she ignited the audience. For us it was amazing present to see them both dancing together. Thank you very much !

  10. Sally responded on 8 January 2015 at 11:57am Reply

    it was simply wonderful. Vibrant, fabulous dancing, lovely sets. A really uplifting and memorable performance. Carlos Acosta created a fabulous production.

  11. Samantha Hill responded on 8 January 2015 at 2:42pm Reply

    visually stunning, a warm & vibrant narrative ballet. A sense of mischief & humour among the company, as if they truly adore performing this piece, which transcends the fourth wall & is shared by the audience. Marianela Nunez gives a particularly joyful performance; her command of the stage, the sublime partnership with Yhiago Soares & their technical master are dazzling! Can't wait for the next! Oh, & the orchestra contributed vivacity & pathos. Stunning

  12. Judy Rose responded on 8 January 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

    It looks wonderful. When is this going to be screened to cinemas, and if not, why not?

  13. Lyra responded on 9 January 2015 at 9:11am Reply

    Vadim Muntagirov was brilliant. We all enjoyed this ballet, beautiful sets, loved the guitar on stage too.

  14. Nicola responded on 11 January 2015 at 8:22pm Reply

    I really enjoyed it. Beautiful costumes, great joie de vivre from everybody and Vadim Muntagirov was just amazing. What a great dancer and performer he is.
    Akane Takada also made a wonderful Kitri.

  15. Simone Camilleri responded on 14 January 2015 at 7:16pm Reply

    Had the great luck to see it with Nunez and Soares. What perfection! It was a great performance from everybody. Lovely costumes and scenery. I love watching the Royal Ballet when in London. They are really first class.

  16. sarah langfield responded on 15 January 2015 at 12:02am Reply

    Steve McRae and Mayara Magri outstanding tonight.

  17. McRae and Salenko - what a dream team!
    Their stunning performances in Don Quixote turn the Opera House into a festive party!
    Those one-handed lifts in act one - I have never heard a ballet audience gasp like that!

  18. It's a packed pit, for Minkus's romantic score, arranged for Carlos Acosta's 2013 staging by Martin Yates, who's conducting here.
    A packed stage too, with a busy town square set, and the versatile corps de ballet rushing around as gypsies, bull-fighters, dryads and more. Amongst all this local colour, the more classical pink tutus of Quixote's dream are a welcome moment of calm, superbly staged to some of the work's most attractive music.
    The prologue, with our hero visited, like Scrooge, by apparitions in his bedchamber is nicely staged with an effective balance of drama and slapstick. Christopher Saunders, who played an important part in this new staging, is the errant knight, touchingly characterized, with Philip Mosley padded up as his fat companion.
    Alas, after this, Cervantes' central characters tend to be relegated to the sidelines, envious onlookers, wall-flowers at the dance. Though he does get to tilt at a windmill, and has an impressive entrance with a warhorse Rosinante on wheels. The action – I don't say plot – revolves around young lovers Kitri and Basilio. Rather as if The Merchant of Venice were rewritten around Jessica's love life.
    Sarah Lamb does not look especially Spanish, but enjoys the humour and the sun-kissed silliness of it all, ably partnered by Federico Bonelli,, with fluent leaps and lifts. Eye-catching work in support from Ryoichi Hirano as the fop Gamache, and Lara Turk in the Gypsy and Fandango divertissements.
    Not the greatest ballet – much loved by the Russians, whose style it suits perfectly. But in this colourful revival, danced with verve and style against Tim Hatley's charming designs, it can hardly fail to please the festive crowds in Covent Garden.

  19. Dorothy responded on 20 January 2015 at 5:57pm Reply

    We saw Nunez and Acosta in the dress rehearsal and loved the fun and sheer exhuberence of it all. Nunez was great with her speed, precision and cheekiness. A perfect couple. Saw it a later with Osipova's replacement and although it was still excellent it lacked the sparkled of our first visit. Loved the staging and sets.

  20. Patricia Casselden responded on 22 January 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

    Great production; just sorry not to have seen Osipova - hope she's recovered.

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