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Your Reaction: What did you think of The Royal Ballet's Don Quixote 2019?

Audience and press reactions to Carlos Acosta's production of Marius Petipa's classic ballet.

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

16 February 2019 at 9.40am | 49 Comments

Press Reviews:

Dance Tabs ★★★★★
Broadway World ★★★★★
Time Out ★★★★
Financial Times ★★★★
Evening Standard ★★★★
The Telegraph ★★★★
The Independent ★★★

What did you think of Don Quixote?
Share your thoughts via the comments below or by using #ROHdonq.

Don Quixote runs until 4 April. Tickets are still available.

The production will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 19 February 2019. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list

The ballet is staged with generous philanthropic support from Aud Jebsen, Julia and Hans Rausing, Alan Howard and Caroline Byron, Doug and Ceri King and The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund.

By Becky Black (Social Media Editor)

16 February 2019 at 9.40am

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by Carlos Acosta, Don Quixote, Marianela Nuñez, Production, review, Vadim Muntagirov, your reaction

This article has 49 comments

  1. Michael Sefi responded on 16 February 2019 at 1:06pm Reply

    Oh my...! Having been to the interrupted rehearsal in the afternoon (fire alarm and House evacuated for a time and then no Act 3) I determined to see if there were any returns for the evening - and there were one or two. So I opted for the Grand Tier (and found myself sitting among various RB luminaries!) Was it (the expense) worthwhile? Oh yes, a thousand time yes... It was interesting to see that a number of the cast were in the same roles they had in 2013 - I have the DVD. Of special note to me were the Dryads scene in Act 2 and of course the grand pas in Act 3. The applause for MN and VM was prolonged and so well deserved. A superlative night and it will be interesting to see the live cinema feed on Tuesday...
    How hard these dancers work - I was at the Two Pigeons performance the previous evening and some from that were taking substantial roles in Don Q...

  2. Dorothybertola responded on 16 February 2019 at 7:19pm Reply

    Attended the dress rehearsal and thought there was some amazing dancing with Sambe and Naghdi. The orchestra went along at a pace and enhanced the infectious Spanish atmosphere as did the enthusiastic supporting dancing. Loved the sets.
    So sad there was a fire in the kitchen meaning we all had to be evacuated from the building, therefore missing the last act.

  3. Give us more!!!

  4. have been following Vadim since he bagsn with English national Ballet
    Daria Klimentova since 1998
    dream couple majic together
    happy Vadim has found Nunez Acodta is a hard man to follow as partnering Nunez
    however With Vadim such lith elegance and perfection willbe hard tofind

  5. martin ledwick responded on 17 February 2019 at 8:06am Reply

    Simply dazzling. Not only were Nunez and Muntagirov technically amazing they were both acting and clearly enjoying themselves. A joyful treat.

  6. Rusty Drewett responded on 17 February 2019 at 9:32am Reply

    Been looking forward to this since it was announced in 2018/19 cinema programme. After these reviews Tuesday cannot come soon enough

  7. Wow, just wow!! Utterly amazing dancing from Marianela and Vadim! There were audible gasps at some of Vadim’s gravity defying yet effortless leaps. The whole cast danced and acted it to the hilt so congratulations to all. I never thought I would see a standing ovation like that in the ROH but it was richly deserved!

  8. Richard responded on 18 February 2019 at 3:07pm Reply

    As well as Nunez and Muntagirov, Akane Takada and Alexander Campbell are also absolutely brilliant in this joyous production.

  9. elleG responded on 19 February 2019 at 5:23pm Reply

    Well, I arrived at the ROH on Friday evening feeling a bit stressed and grumpy. But what a tonic the show proved to be. It is not exactly my favourite version of Don Q (a few longuers and some Petipa solos interrupted by 'stage business') but the performances that Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov gave were truly transporting, electrifying, technically miraculous, yet also very natural, believable and, where necessary, really funny. The whole Company seemed to catch the mood and danced to the hilt. I have been watching the RB for more years than I care to admit but I have never before had the privilege of being part of a prolonged, standing ovation such as the two leads were given that night. Bravo!
    I'd also like to add that Muntagirov has now danced four roles in relatively quick succession: Vershinin in Winter Dreams (strong drama) and The Prince in The Nutcracker (pure classicism) at the end of December, The Young Man in The Two Pigeons in January/February (challenging Ashton) and, now, Basilio in Don Q (classical pzazz). Each and every one of these performances by him, in very different ballets, has been mind-blowingly amazing and absolutely world class. No wonder he was crowned Best Male Dancer (2017/18 season) by the Critics' Circle yesterday. Huge congratulations, Vadim, and a great big thank you from your audience. [You announced at the award ceremony yesterday (which was live-relayed) that you had just got your British Passport. The RB (and we) are so lucky to have you here.]

  10. LRobinson responded on 19 February 2019 at 9:40pm Reply

    Anna Rose O'Sullivan was amazing tonight. By far my favourite dancer this evening. Exquisite. I would love to see her promoted!

  11. RBFan responded on 20 February 2019 at 9:49am Reply

    I can't understand why, two days after Marianela Nunez (Best Female Dancer) and Vadim Muntagirov (Best Male Dancer) won the top National Dance Awards from the Critics' Circle for the 2017/18 Season,, their success has not been celebrated on here by the ROH. Much lesser news makes it onto the ROH website and less prestigious awards are being widely celebrated by other companies.

  12. Completely agree with RBFan. You should be shouting Vadim and Marianela’s win from the rooftops!

  13. Annabel Charles responded on 23 February 2019 at 4:44pm Reply

    Enjoyed the live relay so much I came to see the show again last night. Thought Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Ball terrific as Kitri and Basilio - great dancing, acting and chemistry - and seemed to be having so much fun on stage, you were absolutely swept along with them. Congratulations to the rest of the cast too, especially Mayara Magri as Mercedes and Ryoichi Hirano as Espada. I could appreciate the scenery and staging so much better seeing it live - and the orchestra were on scintillating form under Martin Yates. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic evening.

  14. Helen responded on 23 February 2019 at 9:23pm Reply

    Loved Fumi Kaneko this afternoon - she smashed it! Great partnership with guest principal Daniel Carmago too; would like to see more of him.

  15. Clare responded on 24 February 2019 at 10:36am Reply

    The performances have been excellent even if the production, although now stripped of some of its original clutter, still needs some revision. I have to say I am confused by the generally dismissive attitude of the ROH support staff towards the resident ballet company and its dancers.

    On Saturday afternoon the role of Basilio was performed by a dancer from another company who was replacing a company member who is , I believe, injured. If it had been an opera performance at which even a minor named role was being sung by a replacement singer there would have been slips of paper available giving details of the replacement singer's career for those who wanted them. No such biographical information was available about Daniel Camargo who was the replacement Basilio which is an insult to the dancer and the audience.Perhaps you could explain why under the current regime dancers are not afforded anything like the same respect as that given to singers. I understand that the party line promulgated by the Marketing Department is that people only go to ballet performances to see the Royal Ballet rather than to see performances by named dancers The truth is that the committed ballet goer attends to see specific dancers and is interested in knowing which dancers he or she is watching and expects to be fully informed about the identity of every dancer appearing in a named role. I was going to say it is not adequate to be told by a programme seller that "There are no important cast changes" because the dancers announced as performing Basilio and Kitri are dancing. It is an insult to the audience and the dancers concerned. It is not true that cast changes in other roles are of no interest to anyone but the dancers concerned. Cast changes in minor roles are always of interest as they may herald the beginning of a distinguished career. I think that most ballet goers would regard the idea that as long as the advertised leads are dancing no other cast changes matter as an insult to the audience and the performers who will be appearing as replacements. Your audience and the dancers are entitled to expect that accurate information about who is performing named roles such as Mercedes, Espada Kitri's Friends, the Queen of the Dryads or Amour is readily available in permanent accessible form without having make a special request for it. Perhaps you could also explain why accurate information about casting for the next booking period is no longer made readily available on that part of the ROH website which is readily accessible to all. Has accurate casting information become a privilege or a state secret?

    • John Huxley Travis responded on 26 February 2019 at 8:18pm

      I am actually surprised that Clare as a Ballet lover and Ballet goer has not heard of Daniel Camargo , who is one of the finest male dancers of his generation. I personally thank Kevin O’Hare for securing the services of this superb artist , whose performance I enjoyed enormously ; in fact I am returning tomorrow to see Daniel Camargo dance Basilio again.

    • ML responded on 4 March 2019 at 4:00pm

      Daniel Camargo's biography was in the main programme, but not under Royal Ballet Dancers, as he is not a company member - it was listed under Artist biographies, and was available in the programmes sold the first week of the run. It's the same biography as on the website (which was also available during the first week of the run). Guest principals in the past eg Roberto Bolle, Vladimir Shklyarov, etc have also had their biographies in the same section.

  16. rosalind potter responded on 25 February 2019 at 12:34pm Reply

    It was a wonderful performance and I was drawn into the stage immediately. Brought back many memories of childhood when I was taken to see performances at Covent Garden and Dury Lane to see ballet on the stage. When the cheap tickets were circulating in 1970s for ballet I was there to enjoy the atmosphere. I have not been to London to see live performances for many years, so this was magic.

  17. Karen responded on 25 February 2019 at 6:21pm Reply

    Well done ,Clare, my sentiments exactly. The royal ballet is on fantastic form at the moment, right the way through the ranks. We should be celebrating each and every dancer. We are very lucky to have them. Can't understand why the news page of the website is not featuring news, ie the awards Marianela and Vadim won last week.

  18. Alex responded on 25 February 2019 at 8:12pm Reply

    I no longer understand what's going on with your RB team responsible for given accurate casting and CORRECT spelling of dancers' names. Before Open-Up all seemed fine, correct casting announced, names spelled correctly, the ranks of the dancers respected (naming the Principles firstly followed by lower ranked dancers)... Now everything is in a muddle, many regular ballet-goers complaining etc. Before Open-Up any last minute cast change was announced over the tannoy before a performance would start, all that is now gone? Where is your respect for the dancers? Have you taken on staff who do not know a thing about ballet? dancers and their ranks? names? I feel many, including myself, are really losing patience with the low quality and inconsistencies of the information provided. Such a shame for this great institution that is the ROH and The Royal Ballet! Very disappointed with your all inaccuracies re. casting on your website.

  19. elleG responded on 28 February 2019 at 10:28am Reply

    In common with others (above and elsewhere on ROH comments threads), I am at a loss to comprehend the information and news policies with regard to The Royal Ballet. Details of casting on this website and of cast changes are now inadequate (and sometimes discourteous to the dancers) and the failure to celebrate the achievements of Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov in winning the Best Dancer Awards (2017/18 Season) last week is bordering on the disgraceful. Please show us, their audience, that the RB/ROH is happy for them, is proud of them, and values them for being the truly amazing artistes they are.

  20. STILL no announcement about the National Dance Awards wins.... you announced them last year so why not this? I find it very disrespectful to your wonderful dancers to not even acknowledge this achievement - you should be announcing it regardless of who they are.

  21. elleG responded on 28 February 2019 at 1:59pm Reply

    Thank you, Chris Shipman. I do 'follow' the ROH on Instagram and Facebook but don't get automatic notifications and therefore hadn't seen the congratulations and rejoicing on social media. However, with something as significant as the National Dance Awards wins, I maintain the view that special mention on the ROH News page is the most appropriate place for such things, because of the 'respect' thus conferred and because many of the RB's 'regular' audience are more likely to visit than a range of social media.There is also a certain inconsistency here since what I would regard as 'lesser news' has been featured recently and, I believe, success at the NDAs was mentioned last year.

  22. Karen responded on 28 February 2019 at 7:28pm Reply

    Disappointing response - we are not all on social media, but those of us who are nuts about the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera regularly visit the roh website. Why can't you put it on here as well?

  23. John Travis responded on 1 March 2019 at 8:54am Reply

    I have been to see this production four times and I have tickets for 2 more shows. I have seen three different casts , one cast twice. Each cast has been absolutely outstanding , the leads have been flawless but have been supported by a Company at the top of its game. Like Manon and Swan Lake last season , this revival will enter the History books. The Company is in a golden age with these wonderful young dancers , who give their all night after night.

  24. Mary Campbell responded on 2 March 2019 at 11:53am Reply

    Don Quixote performance last night was breathtaking. Akane Takada and Alexander Campbell were outstanding, along with a very excellent cast.
    Music, scenery, costumes - everything wonderful. An evening to be remembered.
    Thank you all at ROH.

  25. NH responded on 2 March 2019 at 12:15pm Reply

    You’re not entirely correct in saying that the social media is the best place to distribute news - and I am speaking as an avid social media user. The problem with social media is the inconsistency. Even if you follow a particular organisation or person, you don’t always see all their posts because of the algorithms that select what you see/don’t see in your newsfeeds. And posts are quickly swallowed up and move to the bottom of the pile, so to speak, very quickly, by new posts going up. Things just get lost, or not even seen.

    The ROH website News page is still the first and most logical place to go to for reliable news about the dancers and singers etc. And what about people with only a casual interest (I assume you want to pull in these people?)? They are unlikely to be following the ROH on social media already, but would probably assume that if they are checking out the ROH website for possible things to see, that any noteworthy news will be in your News page. And if, when they are there, they see that two of your greatest dancers have been named as Best Male and Best Female Dancers in the National Dance Awards, it may pique their interest enough to book tickets. They’re unlikely to just stumble across that news in the social media by accident.

    I think you need to rethink your marketing.

  26. Alex responded on 3 March 2019 at 9:27am Reply

    We saw Acosta's Don Q. some years ago and had mixed feelings but this time around it looked so much better. We attended the Saturday evening performance and witnessed the wonderful debut of Yasmine Naghdi and Marcelino Sambe. What passionate dancers they are! Both were sensational and they brought so much joy to their audience, they were clearly having a ball. Naghdi was simply stunning, her beautiful classical look, superb and clean technic combined with Sambe's impressive jumps and leaps turned this ballet into a triumph for all involved, and well done to ALL the dancers!

  27. Jane Sprague responded on 3 March 2019 at 2:51pm Reply

    Having also attended the interrupted rehearsal, I was thrilled to be attending the evening performance of Don Quixote on 20th February. The ballet was magical, the atmosphere electric with stunning performances from fabulous principal dancers.It is indeed a ballet of frenetic movement with moving scenery and so many props and accessories: fans shawls, capes, swords - unfortunately, sometimes a bit of a distraction from the dancing.
    Thrilled that Marianela Nunez was better so dancing the lead. As always, she was a delight to watch and played the character beautifully. Vadim Muntagirov has matured in his dancing so much over the last 24 months and he was a pleasure to watch in another, different role. Laura Morera was a joy, quite captivating and Ryoichi Hirano obviously enjoyed dancing this role, which suited his skills perfectly. Music transports.

  28. CW responded on 3 March 2019 at 4:36pm Reply

    Why is the Live Insights into La forza del destino thought newsworthy, but not the one into Don Quixote?
    Why was your news item, of 10 January, on Cesar Corrales withdrawing from performances not updated when one of his replacements also had to withdraw? Daniel Camargo's debut with the RB was obviously not thought newsworthy either.
    My first port of call when I log onto the ROH website, which I do most days, is the News section. I rely on your website for information, as do many of your audience members. Obviously, we are not as important to you as we once were. News should be here, and not just on social media.

    • Alex responded on 4 March 2019 at 2:17pm

      Totally agree CW! First thing we do when going onto the ROH website: click on the News section. It's appallingly poor, no cast change updates, nothing seems newsworthy anymore... We are not much on social media and we do hope the ROH team responsible for it all reinstates the News section, just as it was before all the changes took place. Please ROH take note! Thank you.

    • ML responded on 6 April 2019 at 4:43pm

      The opera house website has gone quiet about cast changes - only emails sent to people who bought online/who left an email address. They've also been very quiet about Diana Damrau withdrawing from all her shows of Faust!

  29. Manon1753 responded on 7 March 2019 at 5:22pm Reply

    Re: correct, complete and up to date info - hadn't you noticed that on the ROH website "news" comes after EAT & DRINK, in smaller letters. Says it all.

  30. Elisabeth Kennington responded on 24 March 2019 at 6:01pm Reply

    We saw live stream on the 19th was brilliant performance to remember for a long time

  31. Nick Burdett responded on 26 March 2019 at 11:13am Reply

    Wonderful performance of Don Quixote last night with Vadim and Natalia playing the leads. We all loved every minute of it. Brilliant.
    Would it be possible to bring a bit of variation to the patisserie in the cafe? Top class coffee though!

    • Marilyn Weston responded on 31 March 2019 at 6:52pm

      And the were brilliant last night so love seeing vadim and Natalia dance together

  32. Kate Eberlen responded on 30 March 2019 at 11:55am Reply

    I very much hope that the digital team at ROH has filmed Vadim's astonishing virtuoso Act 3 variation and will post it to the website/social media. Part of Vadim's exceptional charm is that he is so modest about his amazing technique and artistry. I think he should be celebrated more. I've seen every cast in Carlos Acosta's glorious Don Q, and the entire company has been wonderful, with each cast bringing its own unique flavour to this gloriously sunny production, but I have never seen anything like Vadim's spectacular variation. We are SO lucky to have this fabulous dancer in the Royal Ballet.

  33. Ted Goater responded on 30 March 2019 at 10:23pm Reply

    Just been to the matinee today for live performance v. dvd, loved it. Great to see Mayara Magri as Kitri, was it first or second time, she looked strong and assured in the role, and enjoyed seeing stalwarts Itziar M, Meaghan-Grace H, Romany P, and Gina S-J in other lead and support roles. Alexander Campbell superb as Basilio, and Nicol Edmonds ditto as Espada short notice second substitute in the Act 3 number. I spotted Kevin O’Hare leaving afterwards with a smile on his face, quite rightly I would say.

  34. Marilyn weston responded on 31 March 2019 at 10:20am Reply

    Saw dq last night with Natalia and vadim they were outstanding what a wonderful partnership

  35. Judge responded on 2 April 2019 at 10:09am Reply

    Natasha and Vadim on Saturday night - simply the best Royal Ballet performances we have ever seen. Such a joy, cheeks aching from smiling and tears of happiness. Their dazzling virtuosity was met with audible gasps of amazement from the experienced audience. Absolutely out of this world. Please please please can we see more of this incredible partnership? (This only happened as a consequence of the Cats casting).

    • ML responded on 6 April 2019 at 4:39pm

      Actually it was because of Cesar Corrales' injury and not the dancers away filming the Cats movie. Muntagirov also substituted for Corrales for La Bayadere after Corrales sustained an injury following his first performance of Bayadere (which I was told went very well).

  36. Judge responded on 2 April 2019 at 3:08pm Reply

    I should have added that Ryoichi Hirano was outstanding as Espada, the strutting matador. (He was brilliant in this role in the previous stagings of this production too). We have seen several other casts, but nobody does it like Ryoichi. What a showman!

  37. BryanP responded on 3 April 2019 at 3:34pm Reply

    Dear Royal Opera, thank you so much for making your Don Q widely available via cinema rebroadcast. I was able to watch it last night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Absolutely loved Akane Takada as Kitri and Alexander Campbell as Basilio - they were spectacular. That being said, I found the production a bit overstuffed - some of the scenes could have been trimmed for time. But overall, a wonderful, sumptuous production!

  38. Jorge Salcedo responded on 4 April 2019 at 7:01pm Reply

    I attended yesterday's performance of "Don Quixote" , and I fully agree with what was already mentioned about Yasmine Naghdi and Marcelino Sambé 's performances in a different day. I could witness the wonderful debut of both of them as main dancers in this ballet. Both were sensational , being clear their complicity and their joy dancing with each other . I did enjoy so much their dancing. As I did enjoy the global level of dancing last night . But I would also like to stress the dancing quality of Anne Rose O' Sullivan .

  39. Elizabeth S responded on 5 April 2019 at 8:30am Reply

    What a joy last night's performance was! The colour, energy and humour absolutely transported me to another world. Wonderful technique and precision from the principals who looked as though they were having as good a time as I was with spectacular leaps and beautiful, languid pas de deux. The corps were absolutely magical in the dream sequence, glittering and gliding in sugared almond coloured costumes. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the performance last night. Thank you so much to all of the dancers for such a captivating evening.

  40. ML responded on 6 April 2019 at 4:35pm Reply

    We enjoyed this revival of Don Quixote more than we had on the first two runs of this production when it first premiered and when it was first revived - some details seem to have been ironed out and reworked to improve the production, and notably, Kitri's two friends now finally get new dresses for the wedding! (We always thought it looked strange that they had to wear the exact same dresses throughout the entire ballet, when the design and the choreography suggests that they are not beggars or destitute). We were extremely fortunate to catch the casts of Nunez/Muntagirov, Naghdi/Sambe (their debuts), and Osipova/Muntagirov, and their performances were all electrifying and brilliant. Additionally, it was a treat to see Hirano/Morera returning in their roles of Espada and Mercedes - what masters of dance acting both are.
    I only have one quibble - the quality of the opera house programmes for this production: what happened to the photos of Marianela Nunez and Fumi Kaneko (both beautiful dancers) in the programme? The colour has been so badly edited that the photos have a sallow yellow tinge, ruining the dancers' faces in the photos. Of all the (numerous) photos that exist in the collection of this production, there must surely have been better photos to choose of these two ballerinas - perhaps from the wedding scene or Act 2, if the stage lighting in Act 1 affects the appearance of printed photos. We know it is not the fault of the photographer, as he has other pictures of excellent quality featured in the same programme as well as in other programmes. At £8 a copy, better attention could have been paid to the photo quality before they were printed.

  41. Laura Alvisi responded on 20 April 2019 at 10:04pm Reply

    Is there really no recording whatsoever of Nela and Vadim's performance?
    Not even of Vadim's variation? The thought of such an outstanding, breathtaking performance having no footage at all is terribly sad, and kind of sacrilegious.
    I would have loved to see their performance live in cinemas, but I'd gladly take even just a few videos on your You Tube channel.

  42. Shirley Carruthers responded on 25 April 2019 at 2:34am Reply

    Please Please give us a DVD of DQ with Vadim and Marianela. I'm starting to collect his performances being my very favourite dance. No cinema near me has a Ballet.

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