Story ballets often give the viewer a chance to disappear into a dream state for a couple of hours and the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) did just that. For one of the many family matinee series ABT presented the lavish, funny and beautifully danced Don Quixote: Ballet in Three Acts (1871) by Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky. This grand 1991 version on an equally grand stage, The Metropolitan Opera House (The Met), was a treat for all ages. Staged by Kevin McKenzie and Susan Jones, the celebrated roles: “Kitri” is danced by the lyrical Isabella Boylston and “Basilio” by the robust Daniil Simkin, while young dancers from the School at American Ballet Theatre and a large corp de ballet, helped to make the story real. Victor Barbee as Don Quixote is a delight in the way he masters gestural movement, and so too was his side-kick, Luis Ribagorda as Sancho Panza. The very funny Craig Salstein as “Gamache,” a rich nobleman, kept young audience members in stitches, while Stella Abrera as “Mercedes,” a street dancer,” and Sascha Radetsky as “Espada, a famous matador” were magnificent. It was wonderful to see Boylston match Simkin in Act III when both exploded into extraordinary turn sequences. Miguel de Cervantes’ 1605 story came to life and it was fun!
I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member at The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."