"Don Quixote’ still searching for the ideal | SummitDaily.com

"Don Quixote’ still searching for the ideal

DENVER – Some people see ballet as a dying art form. But the Colorado Ballet tends to leap into dance with a fresh perspective.

Its latest production, “Don Quixote,” presents a joyful and humorous interpretation of dance filled with colorful costumes and extraordinary sets. But it doesn’t quite obtain its ideal.

The story revolves around Kitri and her lover Basilio. Of course, love is rarely simple. Kitri’s father wants her to marry Camacho, a rich nobleman (who appears in the ballet as a comedic character donning a pink-feathered hat over his long curls, a pink and white cape and white heels). Meanwhile, Don Quixote sets out on a quest to find the ideal woman – whom he believes may be Kitri.

The ballet opens with about 40 villagers in a marketplace, set against a two-story ornate, faux-stone set. The score, by composer Ludwig Minkus, infects audiences with its catchy tunes accompanied by tambourine-playing villagers. And the dancers infuse the story with a humorous twist rarely found in ballet.

Overall, though, “Don Quixote” doesn’t quite measure up to the captivating choreography and compelling performances of last year’s “Dracula” or the effortless lifts and passionate expression of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Dancers who fully sequenced their movements with precision and passion were the exception rather than the rule in “Don Quixote.” Though all dancers performed at a high level, most didn’t connect with the audience by projecting their energy beyond the stage.

On opening night, Kitri (Maria Mosina), for example, pitched fits in front of her father with bountiful energy, but in general, she didn’t extend her energy into the direction she moved.

The second main problem involved character development. The characters weren’t compelling enough to completely draw me into their experience. As a result, many of the solos felt more like pieces of a recital rather than an extension of the story.

For example, 25 dryads and cupidons dressed in white danced in a magical garden in the second scene of act two. Though enchanting, at times the dance seemed like a recital where unknown characters took turns showcasing their talent.

But despite its flaws, on the whole, “Don Quixote” is still a spirited and beautiful ballet.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

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