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Don Quixote2/14/04 eve

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#1 BalletNut


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Posted 14 February 2004 - 11:55 PM

Overall, this was a good performance. Tina LeBlanc was Kitri and Joan Boada was Basilio. LeBlanc is a gifted actress, and she danced a perky, witty Kitri, getting frequenjt laughter from the audience. Boada is, of course, amazing in this role, having originated it. Sarah Van Patten was a sexy Mercedes, and Ruben Martin pulled out all the stops as Espada; every time I see him I like him more and more. Pauli Magierek was a deliciously wild Gypsy woman in act 2, and I liked the gypsy dances there; however I wasn't terribly impressed by the adagio Tomasson inserted for Kitri and Basilio. As Gamache, Peter Brandenhoff was appropriately pompous. Mariellen Olson was sweet as Kitri's mother, but her maroon hair is not very becoming under stage lights. Julie Diana was somewhat aloof as the Dryad Queen and Elizabeth Miner would have been a good Cupid if she'd just wipe that huge grin off her face, which didn't budge the whole time she was onstage. She's a good dancer, but I really don't like when dancers dance with a fixed, unmoving smile. The best way to describe the corps was lively; I particularly noticed Megan Low and Chidozie Nzerem [Note to Tomasson: promote him already!] in Act 1, Courtney Elizabeth in the Gypsy scene, and Dana Genshaft in Act 3.

Generally speaking, this is a good solid production of Don Quixote, if not entirely orthodox. Tomasson has made some changes to the traditional choreography: Basilio's traditional act 1 solo has been moved to the tavern in act 2, and inact 1 he dances a variation to music in a minor key, which I actually liked. Then there's the extra adagio in the Gypsy camp, and also some circus-sounding music in act 3 for Kitri's bridesmaids. While I usually like Jens-Jacob Worsaae's costumes and sets for other ballets, the jury's out on his designs for Don Q, with their bright colors, tons of lace, and a consistent motif of vertical stripes of color on the bodices/vests of the costumes, even the tutus. Still, I enjoyed myself immensely.

Did anyone else see Don Quixote?

#2 lillianna



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Posted 15 February 2004 - 03:50 PM

I was able to see 3 performances of Don Q this season. Two of the performances included Vanessa Zahorian as Kitri and Vadim as Basilio and one was with with Tina LeBlanc and Guennadi. (Sorry, I know first names instead of last names). I have really enjoyed the program, last year as well as this year. I think that there are many fine dancing variations in the production. SFB has such wonderful male dancers, and this production gives many of them a chance to perform.
Since this is only my second year in the Bay Area, I am enjoying getting to see Tina LeBlanc perform. She would out on maternity leave last year. What a wonderful performer. Technically, she is everything that I have heard her to be, absolutely wonderful. What really delights me, is how she can bring a role to life. She was able to make me feel her emotions as she wanted to be with Basilio instead of the rich count that her father preferred. She was so at one with the choreography. Vanessa Zahorian was wonderful also, technically right on, but not as at home in the role, it seemed to me.
I loved Murial Maffrey in Mercedes and Julie Diana as Driad Queen.
All in all, a very enjoyable program. It is nice to see a very well done story ballet. Thanks SFB.

#3 Guest_Angel2Be_*

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:16 AM

I saw SFB's Don Quixote on a different date, a Sunday, for the first time. I was a little dissapointed because, in my opinion, the ballet doesn't do justice to the story. And the music didn't do much for me either.

I love San Francisco Ballet, though, and I'm glad I saw it. The girl who played the Driad Queen really stood out. I also enjoyed the entire second act, with the gypsies.

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