you know i can’t resist a good don quixote


(photo by leena hassan)

in the interest of my bank account i was originally intending to skip ABTs don quixote this season – not that I wasn’t dying to see it, I was!! –  but money doesn’t grow on trees you know and i’m trying to behave.  but then, damn it, maria kochetkova went and posted this on instagram and herman cornejo posted a gorgeous clip of his variation rehearsal on facebook and argh! herman is looking so bloody fantastic and i have absolutely no willpower where that man is concerned so i broke down and got a standing room ticket. (i hate standing but, hypothetically, if the theater is not too crowded maybe i could sort of mosey down to row R, for example, instead of actually standing. hypothetically).

well, let me tell you, it was worth it. I absolutely had a blast. masha (maria kochetkova- as kitri) was real cute, dancing with a lot of spunk, and herman (as basilio) was 100% on top of his game- not only nailing all the technical feats but delightfully comedic as well. Plus he has that sexy latin thing going on that I really appreciate in donQ 😉 the two of them look as if they enjoy dancing together and so we enjoy watching them.

I know quite a few ballet going people who cant stand don quixote but i am not among them and readily admit i think donQ is a kick. loaded with bravura dancing, flirtatious teasing and a bit of silliness, it makes for an entertaining evening – especially when performed by a cast as stellar as the one i was privileged to see last night. ( the story line is somewhat irrelevant but here is a synopsis should you happen to be unfamiliar).

in an effort to keep this post relatively short-ish i’m just going to give a few shout outs and call it a day…..

craig salstein as gamache, kitri’s wealthy, bumbling, unsuccessful suitor. craig was HYSTERICAL. he truly has a gift for comedy, his antics not only well timed and wonderfully quirky but often requiring quite a bit of physical control as well. LOVED him 🙂

gabe stone shayer as the lead gypsy. gabe is a young member of the corps but i’ve got to hand it to him – he really held his own dancing alongside the great cornejo! full of energy with a fabulous jump, gabe exudes a genuine warmth and likability with just a touch of machismo tossed in for fun 🙂
(i was really hoping to see luciana paris as the other half of the gypsy couple after reading a fantastic review of her performance in this role in washington d.c. ~ as it was, she was slated to dance one of the flower girls but replaced -seemingly last minute- by the lovely misty copeland. isadora loyola danced the gypsy role with great fervor.)

skylar brandt – i frequently find myself drawn to skylar and she grabbed my attention again in one of the wedding guest trios. she has such an expressive face, radiant with the joy of movement.

stella abrera & handsome hubby sascha radetsky as mercedes and espada were feisty and firey – i really enjoyed their interplay and loved seeing this couple get to dance together. i was also glad to see sascha before he retires at the end of the season, hes one of my favorites and i’ll be sad to see him go!

luis ribagorda- i remember loving luis in toreadors last year and loved him again this year! it’s that spanishy thing i think…..a sharpness as well as certain angle of the head and neck. or something. plus he is extremely very good looking 🙂 his beautiful wife, sarah lane, was delightful as always’ as one of the flower girls.

this is not turning out to be very short-ish, is it?

herman!!!! absolutely incredible from start to finish. his turns were all perfectly balanced, frequently incorporating stylistic port de bras, his jumps as jaw dropping as ever. its fun seeing how he changes up his final variation from time to time- on this occasion starting out with this explosive jump that for whatever reason i just love! he also tossed in some tours to arabesque in a manner i dont think i’ve ever seen before….i’m pretty sure that must have been extremely difficult but of course herman makes everything look easy.  continually dashing, flirtatious and fun, he and his fantastic kitri fed off of each other brilliantly and seemed to have a great time.

needless to say it was all very exciting and i left the theater on a bit of a high. only thing is, after seeing a really great ballet i cant sleep and i was already exhausted from being in the hospital til 2:00 a.m. with my daughter the night before (dont worry, shes fine) so i spent the following day as a semi-functioning zombie. 

ABT ( has two more donQ’s on for today- go see it if you’re in town and have some free time- it’s fantastic!! i would go see every cast if i could 😉

(for some stupid annoying reason my computer is refusing to post the video links in the format i would like it to, apologies. grrr.)



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3 Responses to you know i can’t resist a good don quixote

  1. RO says:

    I wish I could go and see DonQ sometime soon! I think I’m going to keep an eye out for Het Nationale Ballet here in The Netherlands, they might do one this year..
    Sounds like an amazing ballet! No wonder you left with a ballet high haha 😉

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