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Alexandra

Who should play Don Quixote?

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Any nominations for who should play The Don in the upcoming revival of "Don Quixote?" It's a mime role, so an actor who looks good in armor would do, if no dancer springs to mind.

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:) Very good, Mme. Hermine!

I was thinking of two of Farrell's former Don's: d'Amboise and Luders. The only thing is, isn't d'Amboise pretty busy with his National Dance Institute that time of year?

Maybe Placido Domingo?

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I think d'Amboise would be perfect! I'm old enough to do it myself except that I'm shaped more like Sancho Panza.

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Problem is, all that have been mentioned so far are too tall. I think the part works best when the Don is an average or below-sized man. He's a little man with outsize visions.

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But isn't he usually portrayed as taller than his servant? (honestly don't know)

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I always think of him as tall and bone thin -- Adam Luders (who did do the role in the past, I believe). Jacques d'Amboise would be interesting, as one of Farrell's former partners. Of course, there are other former partners.....

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Other partners, yes, but I don't know of other living partners who've danced this role opposite SF. These two would create even more excitement (as if it were needed) among the old-time NYCB-ers.

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Richard Rapp, the original Don, was only a little taller than Deni Lamont, the original Sancho. The difference was that Lamont always was hunched over in his fat suit, and/or standing in a wide second position. Farrell towered over both Rapp and Balanchine when she was on pointe.

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i'd cast a vote for d'amboise then. i didin't know he'd done it before.

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Sean Lavery, whom Farrell was partnered with before she retired, would be nice. I believe he retired early due to an injury but since as Alexandra pointed out the role is mostly mime, he could do it.

How bout Eddie Villella?

And this may sound out of left field, but how about Christopher Walkin? The guy danced on Broadway in his twenties I believe, and his hoofing in the recent Fatboy Slim video shows he's still got it.

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I think that Villella would be good in the part. He's a powerful actor, still, and would bring a lot to it.

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After learning about John Lithgow's involvement with the NYCB in "Carnival of the Animals," I somehow imagine him as Don Q.

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I'd go for a classically trained actor who can move rather than a dancer who may or may not be able to act.

How about Derek Jacoby? His expressive face is so good at conveying pain, confusion and ultimately nobility. He moves awfully well too. At least he did in Cyrano 20 years ago.

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If we're going to consider actors, Washington has plenty of them. We have an excellent classical company, the Shakespeare Theater, from which a number of Dons could be taken -- Ted van Griethuysen, Philip Goodwin, Andrew Long.

But I also like the idea of someone with a Balanchine connection. Villella would be wonderful. He'd have to wear a gray wig, though . . . :)

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In Repertory in Review, Balanchine is quoted as telling Francisco Moncion, "No one is tall enough to play Don Quixote." Moncion interpreted this to mean no one has enough inner dignity. As those who have seen the ballet will remember, the Don grows impossibly tall at the end as he rises from his deathbed, before collapsing back onto it. I doubt either Charles Askegard or Ask La Cour would be available though. But maybe "Balanchine" could do it again, in the person of Robert Tewsley.

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How about having Suzanne herself play Quixote? She could Don a wig and beard as well as anyone, and she knows the role!

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It says in the book that he's like ludicrously tall and bony.

It takes a very imaginative performer to play Don QUixote -- Farrell herself IS that imaginative, though some other characteristics I think unfit her for the part/

he really has to be SO imaginative, lost in another world AT TIMES, and then intensely involved in interactions with whoever he's encountered, explaining himself and what he's up to, for a knight must be he pattern of courtesy, and it might reflect badly on Dulcinea del Toboso, and she might HEAR about it....

Luders is the only person mentioned who has a temperament like this -- he already looks haunted, which made him so good as Schumann.... he also has the bone-structure. I'd love to see him do it.

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Kirov character principal, Vladimir Ponomarev -- tall, stately, elegant & a superb actor -- would be absolute perfection in the role.

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Johnny Depp.----he really moves like a dancer.

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Marcelo Gomes.

He's doing everything else this year, so why not this, too? And if the timing works out, I'd get another chance to see him!

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Mel, thanks for the reminder about Dore. Indeed!

Does anyone have detailed recollection of Balanchine's own performance? I saw the original production twice with Balanchine as the Don, and don't really have a strong visual memory except that I had expected him to be taller -- more Dore-like, if you will. I recall a kind of tentativeness vis-a-vis his surroundings, including Dulcinea, and a withdrawn quality, even in the windmill scene. I'd almost venture to say that I felt a lack of presence. That CAN"T be right.

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Does anyone have detailed recollection of Balanchine's own performance? .....I recall a kind of tentativeness vis-a-vis his surroundings, including Dulcinea, and a withdrawn quality, even in the windmill scene.  I'd almost venture to say that I felt a lack of presence.  That CAN"T be right.
What you probably felt was the response one has to the typical Russian Don Quixote character. I saw Balanchine as Don Q, too, and know what you mean. Atypically, his was the first Don Quixote production I had ever seen. I didn't see the Kitri/Basilio original version until about a decade ago.

Despite Balanchine making a new, very different Don Q, perhaps the befuddled characterization was due to his earlier acquaintance with the well-known version. As soon as you used the word "tentativeness" I thought of the usual Russian interpretation of the role.

He made the ballet for Farrell, so it is understandable that he was not going to do anything to steal the show from her. He remained her (er, I mean Dulcinea's) faithful servant, if you will, throughout, in awe of her presence and became a shadow following it.

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