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Who should play Don Quixote?


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#16 Farrell Fan

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 04:15 PM

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.

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 03:57 AM

I always thought that Balanchine's vision of the Don depended less on Cervantes and more on Gustave Doré:

http://www.art.com/a...054/posters.htm

#18 Guest_nycdog_*

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 05:29 AM

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

#19 Paul Parish

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 09:08 AM

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.

#20 Natalia

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:06 PM

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

#21 atm711

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:36 PM

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

#22 carbro

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 03:56 PM

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!

#23 Helene

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:02 PM

Rob Besserer.

#24 bart

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:17 PM

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.

#25 Marga

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 06:52 PM

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.

#26 Anthony_NYC

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 06:42 PM

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.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Baryshnikov!

#27 Farrell Fan

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 07:36 PM

The preview piece in the Washington Post (6/19/05) names Bulgarian dancer Momchil Mladenov as the Don. He has danced with the Farrell company in the past. Since there are matinee and evening performances both Saturday and Sunday, perhaps the role will be shared.


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