REVIEW:  Boston Ballet delivers lighthearted and triumphant ‘Don Quixote’

Armed with oversized artillery and a makeshift helmet, Don Quixote is a chivalrous and enchanting hero like none other. 

Boasting a wealth of delightful physical humor, resplendent costumes, and exuberant choreography, the Boston Ballet presents Rudolf Nureyev’s uplifting and family friendly romantic comedy Don Quixote through Sunday, March 26 at Citizens Bank Opera House in Boston, Massachusetts.  This production is approximately two hours 48 minutes including two intermissions.  Click here for more information and for tickets.

Daniel Rubin as Don Quixote, Isaac Akiba as Sancho Panza and John Lam as Gamache Photo by Rosalie O’Connor Photography

A crowd toss, a tense and impressive knife dance, formidable puppetry, and every one of Don Quixote’s grand entrances are just a few of Don Quixote’s indelible moments when the company is not thrilling audiences with daring and athletic lifts and dives. 

Isaac Akiba as Sancho Panza Photo by Rosalie O’Connor Photography

Delving into the wise words of Don Quixote author Cervantes, ‘The most perceptive character is the fool because the man who wishes to seem simple cannot possibly be a simpleton.  Whether in love or in battle, My’kal Stromile’s charismatic and natural assurance as Don Quixote stands out amid his occasionally wild and rowdy surroundings.  Chivalrous to a fault and a sympathetic admirer, Don Quixote, accompanied by his trusty and comedic sidekick Sancho Panza portrayed winningly by Angel Garcia Molinero, set out on a quest through Spain to find his ideal Dolcinea.

Don Quixote encounters a vast array of dynamic characters from dryads to gypsies to matadors in distinct and exceptional garb in this consistently upbeat and lighthearted production.  Viktorina Kapitonova dazzled audiences when she portrayed Cinderella in Boston Ballet’s 2019 Cinderella and that exuberance, determination and confidence shine through as Kitri.  A red rose in her hair, Kapitonova’s bright smile lights for Basilio, portrayed impressively by Lasha Khozashvili.  Kapitonova and Khozashvili are marvelous together as they perform a playful pas de deux, their captivating chemistry sweet and jubilant.  Kapitonova also has some amusing moments with Rasmus Ahlgren as Lorenzo.  Chyrstyn Fentroy’s spitfire Mercedes has spicier chemistry with Paul Craig as equally charming Matador Espada.  Fentroy and Craig’s sharp and sweeping pas de deux is enthralling in daring lifts and leaps.  One of the highlights of the performance is Fentroy’s thrilling knife dance.  The matadors are elegant and gallant in bolero jackets in black and gold.  Later, Jon Lam delivers a complex and powerful solo dance as a rowdy lead traveler .

The company demonstrates a plethora of visually impressive comedy ranging from absurd to mischievous to self deprecating.  Lawrence Rines Munro as wealthy and foppish nobleman is an amusing scene stealer through his over the top expressions and comedic stances.   On another notes, Addie Tapp is wonderful as Queen of the dryads delivering sweet chemistry with an enamored Stromile as Quioxote in a fanciful display as her dryads glide along the stage.  Kaitlyn Casey intrigues as a mysterious bride.

Viktorina Kapitonova as Queen of the Dryads Photo by Rosalie O’Connor Photography

Boston Ballet’s Don Quixote’s resplendent visions of beauty vary from muted colors to floral pastels to bold and exotic creations inspired by Spain’s reformation era.  In silks, lace, flowing capes and skirts, bolero jackets as well as ethereal, glittering and majestic attire, costume designer Nicholas Georgiadis effectively captures Quixote’s distinctive journey with finesse.  The multi-functional fans frequently used by the company are characters in themselves for flirtation and comedy.   From giant windmills to rustic wagons to towers and cannons, Georgiadis also helmed the production’s distinctive set design.  Brandon Stirling Baker’s emotive lighting is especially prevalent for Don Quixote’s vivid and haunting visions.

Boston Ballet in Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

Skillfully conducted by Mischa Santora, Ludwig Minkus’s brilliant score varies from fanciful to powerfully epic to mischievous, setting the perfect tone for this unique and amazing classic tale.

Boston Ballet presents Rudolf Nureyev’s uplifting and family friendly romantic comedy Don Quixote through Sunday, March 26 at Citizens Bank Opera House in Boston, Massachusetts.  Boston Ballet’s upcoming lineup includes Our Journey and Sleeping Beauty.  Click here for more information and for tickets. 

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