David H. Koch Theater
New York, NY
July 22, 2014
by Mary Cargill
copyright © 2014 by Mary Cargill
The Bolshoi's "Don Quixote" has a venerable history; Petipa choreographed it for the company in 1869, and, with various revisions, most notably by Alexander Gorsky in 1900, the Bolshoi has been dancing it steadily. this current version, from 1999, is a restoration of the Petipa/Gorsky version, with some enhancements. The costumes, too, are based on older ones, the 1903 designs by Vasily Diyachkov, though I suspect that Espada has helped himself to some extra sequins. And the classical variations in Act 1 (Kitri, two friends, and a street dancer) are now danced with bare legs and scruffy beige point shoes, which don't look at all 1903ish. Perhaps this is meant to give Kitri and friends a realistic barefoot peasant air, but point work is completely artificial and combining it with wobbly bare flesh is a bit off-putting, especially since the corps were quite spiffy in bright white tights and shiny black shoes.