Less baggy than the Bolshoi’s production, less brash than many more recent attempts, it has as much naturalistic delicacy as can possibly be expected from a story about an innkeeper’s daughter trying to marry her barber lover while a mad old knight runs around tilting at windmills and dreaming of dryads.
The Evening Standard
To call the Mariinsky dancers exceptional is an understatement. Last night's cast took a while to warm up but once they had they provided an almost embarrassment of talent. From corps de ballet to lead couple Anastasia and Denis Matvienko, they heap stardust on every step. Although it might jar in some ballets, the married Matvienkos have a stand-out style that is spot on for Don Q. She is the spirited Kitri and he the penniless Basil.
The Arts Desk
Both Matvienkos were eclipsed in Act I by the stellar Ekaterina Kondaurova (who had dazzled everyone as the Firebird last week) and the young soloist Alexander Sergeev (who will appear later this week in Balanchine's Scotch Symphony - hurry and get your tickets now!). Sergeev has that nameless thing that Anastasia so far lacks, the ability to shape a phrase, to surprise the viewer each time, even as a step is repeated. Kondaurova and Sergeev were worth the price of admission alone, and the audience knew it, roaring its approval despite their relatively circumscribed parts.