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Don Quixote 2009

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I made my first trip to CB's 2009 production of Don Quixote on Wednesday (10/21). There was actually a fairly large crowd, especially for a weeknight performance. But I managed to snag a good seat at a reasonable price anyway.

The production was noteworthy mainly because it marks the first time that soloist Sayaka Karasugi has been cast as the leading lady (Kiri). This was her second performance, having also performed the previous Saturday evening. She has been cast as the #2 woman frequently in the past few years, doing IMHO a very impressive job. She was paired with principal dancer Alexei Tyukov (Basilio), who in the past has normally been paired with another principal, Chandra Kuykendall. The performance on the whole was very well danced, but there were a few rough spots between the leads. I actually can't remember them really having danced together even in small segments before, so it isn't surprising that they weren't exactly together 100 percent of the time. And I don't know that Karasugi quite reached her comfort zone; she just didn't seem as elegant and smooth as she has in the past.

Don Quixote really isn't one of my favorites. For a performance that lasts well over 2 hours, it contains very little plot. And the music is generic and bland. I found myself wishing for at least a few bars that would make me think of Spain, especially when the toreadors were dancing. I'd have to say that the music is my least favorite ballet music.

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I went back Saturday for my customary second trip, and got the same cast. Things went more smoothly for the leads, while the rest of the ensemble again was right on. And once again there was a very large crowd.

I gave up my plan to see one of the other lead pairs on Sunday after getting frustrated by the slowness of the folks in the box office. I wouldn't have gotten a ticket in time for the start of the performance. Why it takes 3-4 minutes per customer (yes, I was checking my watch) to get tickets sold is beyond me.

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