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Don Q 6/12 etc.


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#1 Michael

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Posted 12 June 2003 - 08:36 PM

I must briefly note a superb performance of Don Q tonight at ABT by Herrera and Carreno, with the company animated, the corps de ballet dancing well, and the supporting roles well filled by Maria Ricetto as Amour, Joaquin de Luz and Erica Cornejo as the Gypsies, Michelle Wiles and Stella Abrera as the Flower Girls, and Veronika Part as Mercedes. I will definitely try to catch another one or two of these, it's not every week I get to see something I liked as well as this.

Someone else probably can better describe Carreno's wonderful performance. He was so very good both in his execution of the steps, his basic noble, masculine presence, as an actor in his role and as a partner for Herrera.

I find my thoughts more organized on the subject of Herrera.
It's been more than a year since I've seen her. Did I just not remember, or had I never noticed, what a big, strong, well proportioned girl she is? Tall, with a strong back, a lovely long neck, nicely proportioned arms and hands and beautiful, long, soft feet.

I can remember thinking in the past that something was dead in her upper body. But tonight, instead of that, I very much admired how beautifully pulled up and rounded out she is in her chest, with her shoulders relaxed and down, and her neck, shoulders, arms and hips beautifully aligned. Something in her facial expressions can be faulted perhaps at times -- Oddly enough in particular I thought this during the Soubrettish passages that I used to think were her great forte. During the Dream Act, when her expression was more still, distant and neutral, she was at her most physically beautiful.

Herrera appeared to me a pure, classical dancer tonight and I did not think I would ever see myself saying that. She was as comfortable and at home in the Dream Act, where she danced with great delicacy, as in the jumps, turns and balances of Acts I and III. The Grand Pas de Deuxs during both the first and the last acts were nearly flawless on both her and on Carreno's part --- the best part of the evening.

In Act II, the noble, upright and slightly heroic manner in which Victor Barbee portrayed Don Q was very welcome. I like it when the Don is allowed to be heroic at least during the Dream -- The basic nobility of his nature is important. Barbee and Herrera were lovely dancing a deux, or a quatre with Amour and the Dryad Qyeen, against the patterns and the intermittent movements and arrangements of the corps de ballet. The polka-like waltz, starting up and stopping, which moves through that Act, is beautiful.

Joaquin de Luz is having a wonderful season. I've seen him in Bayaderka, in Fille and in this and his dancing has been constantly strong.

#2 bingham

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 08:21 PM

Just came back from a terrific performance of Don Q at the Met. Needless to say that Gillian and Ethan stopped the show after the PDD in the 3rd act.Others can probably described what they did better than me but it was just exciting!!
I have not seen Don Q for a while but this seem to be a new staging, from what sounded to me, the new orchestration during the prologue to the staging of the dream sequence.I thought the Amour of A Milewski was as good or better than my previous memory of this solo.C Corella ,unfortunately , slipped during her solo but made up during the Jete sequence. Gillian was just breathtaking in her balances.(Carbro described this better in her review)
Stella and Michele ( in a new solo?) shoned well in thier solos.D Halberg(as the toreador) is someone to watch in the future.
An enjoyable evening at the ballet.
Joe

#3 carbro

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Posted 14 June 2003 - 09:24 PM

I attended the same performance as Michael, and I also noticed improvements in Paloma's bearing. I think she is a bit thinner than last year. Always unusually pretty, her beautifully curved legs and feet are now even more stunning, showing her long muscular articulation. Her tendency to let her arms flop positionless in saut de chat was nowhere in evidence Thursday night. :)

My neighbor summed up Jose with the word "complete." A fully rounded technique, an ideal partner, a fine actor, and profoundly musical, and always giving his full conviction to the moment. What more could one want?

This was the second time this season that I saw Michele and Stella as the flower girls, but I believe they switched variations, both dancers shown to better advantage with Michelle dancing the first and Stella the second.

Special commendation to David Hallberg for his powerfully yet precisely danced, wittily acted Espada.

Thank you, Joe, for your generous compliment!;)

#4 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 16 June 2003 - 03:13 PM

I saw the June 14th matinee of "Don Quixote" - with Xiomara Reyes and Angel Corella. It was a truly great performance. I've seen Corella dance this role twice before, and I was expecting great things from him (and I wasn't disappointed). But I wasn't sure what to expect from Reyes - Kitri in Don Q is a killer role. But Reyes was wonderful - great kicks to the back of the head, incredible speed in her solos in Acts I and II (the dream sequence). And her fouettes in the Act III were very exciting - she threw in a few triples (maybe they were doubles, it's hard for me to tell) along with some very fast singles. She also did the trick of opening her fan over her head when she did her triples or doubles (whatever they were). Maybe I shouldn't call the opening of the fan over her head a trick - it fit with the character and the choreography and it was very well done. I also saw Gillian Murphy do this back in June of 2001 and I've been told that
Dvorvenko always does this. Did Murphy and Reyes steal this idea from Dvorovenko? Did she teach it to them? My one quibble about Reyes' performance is that she could have held her balances longer in the Act III pas de deux.

One of the great things about the ballet was how much in sync Reyes and Corella were. Their styles of dancing, their levels of energy, the way they approached their roles - it all meshed. You would have thought that Reyes and Corella had been dancing Don Q together for years. (I think it was the second time they danced it together or am I wrong about that?) I rate their Don Q alongside the 1981 Don Q of Barysnikov and Kirkland and the
1999 Don Q of Bocca and Nina A.

Sandra Brown was a wonderful Mercedes, but Sacha Radesky was rather disappointing as Espada. He seemed to be just going through the motions. Stella Abrera gave an incredibly strong performance as the Queen of the Dryads, and Renata Pavam was very good as Amour. She reminded me of Anne Milewski whom I saw in the part back in 2000 and 2001.

But it Corella and Reyes who made it such a wonderful ballet. I think Corella has finally found a partner who equals him in technique, energy, and charisma. I hope they enjoy a long partnership at ABT.

#5 Kristen

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:41 PM

I saw the performance on 6/12 and considered it to be a high point in ballet going all the way around. I found Herrera to be enormously improved in her upper body - she always had the legs and incredible feet covered before, but now she's much more complete. Like Michael, I find that her facial expressions are distracting.

We were in the 7th row, which gives a certain intimacy with the dancers provided you're not seated behind a 6 footer or some lady with helmet hair. It was a fantastic evening all around.

Carreno never disappoints. (Be still my beating heart). Loved seeing Veronica Part for the first time - lovely dancer who knows how to sell this character. Of the flower girls, I know Michele Wiles is a favorite, but couldn't take my eyes off Stella Abrera. Wish I were seeing it tonight. Kristen


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