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Paris Opera Ballet - Don Quixote


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Have just returned from my New Year Paris trip. On another thread I said I felt that the Don Q was dumbed down - I stand by this. I must say upfront that I adore the Bolshoi version of DonQ and will go and see every performance of that whenever it shows here and that is the standard against which I am judging so yes maybe I am a spoilt DonQ fan!! To try to explain myself - compared to the Bolshoi version -and the Mariinksy as well for that matter - I felt that the choreography did not make the most of the music at all - pieces where the Bolshoi would be dancing their hearts out just had very easy moves nothing too strenuous. It just was not as exciting. I saw it a few years ago at POB and I think I felt the same then. I notice that the music has been rearranged for the Nureyev version - again not to my liking either a pity as the Minkus score is wonderful - the music seemed to be played rather slowly without the usual gusto and I felt that the timing between orchestra and dancers was right off too - with many missed final flourishes - maybe the conductor had not done a ballet before!!. There was no Mercedes or Queen of the Gypsies - those are such impressive pieces of dance in the Bolshoi version that their absence left a gaping hole in the production and Espada had minimal input as well. What dance there was, was well done and the costumes were lovely, but it was just not in the same league as the Bolshoi or Mariinksy and I think the Bolshoi is the definitive version. Muriel Zusperreguy danced Kitri well and unusually she changed her pointe foot several times during the fouettes - I have not seen that done before. Chaillot was Basilio but the choreography for him was not very exciting - he was put to much better use the next day in "In The Middle Somewhat Elevated" at the Garnier. I feel that the Bastille Theatre is perhaps too big leaving many viewers too far away to be properly in on the action. It would have been better to have DonQ at the Garnier and the modern quad bill at the Bastille though I think that may have been a tough one to sell at the Bastille! Don Q was an acceptable production but it was just lacking oomph given my experience of other versions, that's all I am trying to say.

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