LAST EDITED ON 03-11-01 AT 12:42 PM (GMT)
It could have just been the view from my seat which was pretty terrible compared to the one I had to the rehearsal, but I found this performance rather lukewarm.
Rojo I feel didn't really catch fire as Kitri. I think my expectations may have been too high. She earned glowing reviews for Juliet and Giselle, she was astounding in the Don Q pdd in the mixed bill in August, and I just assumed this would be another natural and brilliant role for her. She is a wonderful dance actress for sure, coquettishly eyeing up her love Basilo, defiant at the prospect of an arranged marriage. After an initial slip onstage she snapped right back into character. And she was a technical marvel throughout her solos as Dulcinea. In the grande pdd she threw out quads from the start, snapping open her fan with each one.
I was so excited at hearing of the pairing of her with Kobborg when it was first announced but now I don't think they have much chemistry in this ballet. I did hear a few whispers that she generated more fireworks with Acosta.
I can't find any fault with Kobborg though. He's a brilliant dancer, his cabrioles and series of pirouettes bringing gasps from the audience in the final pdd. And he's just as wonderful actor, stealing confused and jealous glances as Kitri danced with Don Q. His 'mock death' scene - absolutely perfect. The expression on his face when he stabbed himself was hilarious.
Marianela Nunez made a wicked Street Dancer. Martin Harvey pulled off the Toreador with great panache. I don't think this is a particularly strong role though - not nearly as much for the man to do as I remember in Baryshnikov's version. Justin Meissner as the Gypsy Boy brought loud cheers.
Zenaida Yanowsky was fabulous as the Dryad Queen, while Cojocaru made a light and airy Armour. I have a weakness for glitter and tutus and the moment when the screen lifts to reveal the dancers boureeing in place is absolutely my favourite scene. And the sight of Rojo, Yanosky and Cojocaru threading bourees around each other is even better.
Now that the novelty of a new production has worn off, I can appreciate why critics find the production so dull. For me the Act I costumes in particular could use more colour. Kitri for example should stand out from all the other villagers, but her rose-red dress just blends her in right into the props. I also think Don Q slows down the action everytime he's on stage. His sequences are far too long and I still don't have a clue what's going on in the gypsy scene with the minature stage and those kids.
I enjoyed it tremendously the first time. Nureyev's choreography for the corps I found particularly interesting. But last night I was stifling yawns. One more performance to go with Cojocaru and Corella. This is the pairing I'm most looking forward to, but as for the ballet, I could really take it or leave it.
Final note, BBC cameras were everywhere last night for the broadcast in X-mas. I heard the camera people saying that some of the cameras should be moved back, that they'd do so 'next time'. I don't know if this means they'll film another Don Q or if it's for another ballet/opera altogether.