Reviews of the National Ballet of Cuba.
The Los Angeles Times
The group dancing ought to tighten up with repeat performances (through Sunday). But the rumpled cloth scenery by Salvador Fernández also suggests a shabby touring compromise. Created in 1988, the production by Alicia Alonso, Marta Garcia and Maria Elena Llorente adopts much of the familiar Petipa/Gorsky choreography but sets the action during the French occupation of Spain. Thus, as always, Don Quixote seeks his vision of the perfect woman, but now also exemplifies native resistance to the invader.
This social/political context conditions but never obstructs the celebratory nature of the work, or the star performances at its center. Indeed, for Latin fire, high-speed bravura and drop-dead exactitude, Anette Delgado's performance of Kitri owned the night. The balances, the extensions, the turns, the flying splits, the freedom in the lifts -- here was a virtuoso dancer in her element. Her only failing: a rather constricted, emotionally vacant lyricism in the dream scene
The Huffington Post
Our Cuban brothers and sisters cruised into the Los Angeles Music Center last night. They drove their charmingly ramshackle Don Quixote, a vehicle purring on high-octane Russian ballet technique that's been passed through generations -- like the classic cars in which the islanders parade the Havana coastline.
The ballet was choreographed in 1988 by Alicia Alonso, after Petipa/Gorsky original dating from 1869. It was a winsome and nostalgic tour in a ballet time capsule, a demonstration of how it used to be done, a display of clean and unfettered classical technique by the engaging, youthful company. The dancers, brown skinned and with few exceptions homogeneous in their look, burst through the conventions of Minkus's war horse of a three-act ballet, eager to please. The ballet's claptrap narrative about the old geezer, Don Q, with sidekick Sancho Panza, pursuing Dulcinea, the feminine ideal, faded into irrelevance in a showcase of the beautifully trained dancers' technical prowess.