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Subject: "Don Q - 10/11" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2259
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sylvia

10-11-01, 09:20 PM (GMT)
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"Don Q - 10/11"
 
   What a fantastic afternoon! My doubts about the Don Q production haven't exactly been wiped away but today's matinee pretty much confirmed for me that all you need are two bright, charasmatic young leads and the world ain't so bad after all.

I've seen before the 'star' quality that Cojocaru has. What made today so enjoyable was what a match Corella was for her and more with his dancing and mega-wattage smile. And far from stealing the limelight from his partner he showed her off proudly. Their shining faces both have 'superstar' scrawled all over them which surprisingly feels appropriate to Don Q and doesn't detract from the silly story at all. The two epitomise youth and energy and are immensely loveable as Basilo and Kitri. They looked very comfortable and confident in their pdd and the one-handed lifts were heart-stopping.

It's the first time I've seen Corella live and in a leading role in a full-length ballet for that matter. The guy's tremendously gifted, not only technically (that goes without saying - he's a human rubber ball, bouncing around the stage, huge elevation and speed, his dizzying spins have to be seen to be believed) but in the hundred-n-one expressions on his face that changed on a dime. The round-eyed gaping look he shot at Kitri as she went off to flirt with old Don Q brought a grin to my face, and his mock death was perfect and wonderfully hilarious. And I think he brings with him that 'Spanish flavour' that seems to be missing from the whole production. What distinguishes him from all others is the immense joy he brings to his dancing. As back-breaking as some of those solos must be each one looks like he's having the most fun of his career.

I'd advise anyone who isn't planning to see this on Wednesday to RUN and buy a ticket! This is the only performance I can recall when the audience managed to bring out a 4th curtain call for Corella and Cojocaru after all the lights came up. Okay, okay, enough gushing... though I eagerly await Corella's return next year.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Don Q - 10/11 Ann Welsh 10-11-01 1
     RE: Don Q - 10/11 sylvia 10-11-01 2
         RE: Don Q - 10/11 Helen 11-11-01 3
     RE: Don Q - 10/11 Margaret 11-11-01 4
     RE: Don Q - 10/11 Margaret 11-11-01 5
  One DonQ thread at a time please.. Bruce Madmin 12-11-01 6
     Don Q 14/11/01 sylvia 16-11-01 7

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Ann Welsh

10-11-01, 10:13 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Don Q - 10/11"
In response to message #0
 
   Sylvia, I was there too, on one of my rare excursions to the metropolis simply because of the cast (and incidentally my first visit to the ROH).

Cocajaru and Corella are a perfect partnership, both in physicality and technique.

I've not been a great lover of Don Q except, of course, for the last Act and, at the beginning, was wondering if the expense of a 400 mile round trip was going to be worth while. I saw Moscow City Ballet's Petipa version and it didn't engage me. But this RB performance gradually grew and grew.

Great supporting performances from just about everyone, particularly the lovely Luke Heydon (Gamache), William Tucket (the Don)and Martin Harvey (Espada),Yanowsky (Street Dancer) and of course the venerable David Drew (Innkeeper). But for me the other star was Jamie Tapper as the Queen of the Dryads and her little entourage.

But oh those noisy pointe shoes! In one sequence (can't now remember which one) but you could actually count the beats mathematically from the thumps of shoes on the floor, which distracted enormously from the excellent performance from the dancers. I thought that only Jamie Tapper overcame this, but only to a certain extent. I always tend to blame the floor in some of the older provincial theatres, but this wasn't exactly what I expected of the ROH or indeed the RB.

They surely have to do something about this. BRB does it better...

But in the end Cojacaru and Corella just about brought the house down (and tears to my eyes). What a pair!

Just a coda. I had, sitting next to me, a tiny little girl who looked to be about 3 years old (later turned out she was five and a half). I thought - Oh, dear! But she behaved impeccably and, with great aplomb, informed everybody around her (but only when asked) that, Yes she did attend ballet class with her big sister and was going to be a great star. Now I'm not at all one to be charmed by small precocious children, but all around were utterly charmed and took a note of her name for future reference.
This one had the confidence to fulfil her dreams. Ahhh!

It was nice also to see a little contingent of RB School kids, all in uniform, among the audience.

A lovely day out!


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sylvia

10-11-01, 10:34 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Don Q - 10/11"
In response to message #1
 
   >Cocajaru and Corella are a perfect
>partnership, both in physicality and
>technique.

Complete agreement there (can you tell from my review? ) Isn't Corella dancing Giselle with Rojo in March? I'm looking forward to that. It makes me wonder how an all Spanish Rojo-Corella partnership would have worked in Don Q. I remember Corella saying that he knows Rojo as they went to Victor Ullate's school together!

>But oh those noisy pointe shoes!

>I always tend to blame the
>floor in some of the
>older provincial theatres, but this
>wasn't exactly what I expected
>of the ROH or indeed
>the RB.

It used to drive me nuts too. First performance I saw at ROH was Giselle, front row seat and throughout Act II when they're all supposedly wispy, floating Wilis, they were thumping like elephants all over the stage!

>It was nice also to see
>a little contingent of RB
>School kids, all in uniform,
>among the audience.

Ah, so that's who they were! Wise choice of cast!


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Helen

11-11-01, 10:24 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Don Q - 10/11"
In response to message #2
 
   I agree about the noisy shoes!

Like Ann Welsh, I did a 400 mile round trip on Saturday, and, like her, I thought in the end it was worth it, though when I got up at 6 o'clock on that freezing morning I had my doubts. I don't think I met you, Ann, but I was delighted to meet Ann Williams, Tomoko, Kevin and (briefly) Pete.

Don Q is very far from being my favourite ballet - Nureyev's (or is it Petipa's?) slapstick sense of humour isn't mine - but I thought this performance had the fizz and assurance to make it work. I quite enjoyed the busy background figures - if you looked at individual members of the corps, which I always do (talent spotting!) they were all acting and dancing their little hearts out, and seemed to be enjoying themselves hugely.

I felt a bit disappointed by Corella at first - I hadn't seen him before - but he redeemed himself later with some wonderfully showy dancing in the pas de deux. Alina Cojocaru, needless to say, was utterly delightful throughout, and dances with such apparent ease. Her grands jetes are immaculate, but what really impressed me, and moved me to tears, was a moment in the Dryad scene where her hands drifted like waterweed, stunningly beautiful. I've yet to see Alina in a role that involves real drama - Giselle, for instance - but if she has expressive qualities to match the technical, she must surely become a legend. At the moment my only criticism is that her facial expression, a sweet smile, barely changed, but what else can you do as Kitri?

In the smaller roles, William Tuckett impressed greatly as the Don, and the horse was beyond praise! Laura Morera was a charmingly coy Amour (though the girl who danced it at the RBS matinee last year was even better), and I have no praise too high for Jaimie Tapper's Queen of the Dryads. I had somehow always thought of her as a demi-caractere dancer, but this was pure classical dancing of a high order.


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Margaret

11-11-01, 05:53 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Don Q - 10/11"
In response to message #1
 
   What a lovely afternoon and what fun! Cojocaru and Corella danced so well and with such joy in their dancing. We were all captivated by their performance (those wonderful one-handed lifts and the pdd) and that of the rest of the cast. I loved Don Quixote and Gamache too.

Everyone went home happy - the students behind us in the Amphi who responded with such enthusiasm and the cloakroom attendants still excited as we left!

We didn't want the performance to end (at the very least I would love them to have repeated the pdd!). The ending is great and reminds me of the end of Fille. Great fun and a lovely day out.


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Margaret

11-11-01, 05:55 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Don Q - 10/11"
In response to message #1
 
   What a lovely afternoon and what fun! Cojocaru and Corella danced so well and with such joy in their dancing. We were all captivated by their performance (those wonderful one-handed lifts and the pdd) and that of the rest of the cast. I loved Don Quixote and Gamache too.

Everyone went home happy - the students behind us in the Amphi who responded with such enthusiasm and the cloakroom attendants still excited as we left!

We didn't want the performance to end (at the very least I would love them to have repeated the pdd!). The ending is great and reminds me of the end of Fille. Great fun and a lovely day out.


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Bruce Madmin

12-11-01, 08:10 AM (GMT)
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6. "One DonQ thread at a time please.."
In response to message #0
 
   Thought it would be best to concentrate on one DonQ thread and this one seemed to have a good starter and scope for growth.

To keep it simple I've locked the other DonQ threads:
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2255.html
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2252.html
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2234.html
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2233.html
http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/2213.html

As a general note I think it best that people add to an existing thread rather than starting new ones - even for reviews. That way its easier for everybody...


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sylvia

16-11-01, 00:16 AM (GMT)
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7. "Don Q 14/11/01 "
In response to message #6
 
   I couldn't resist seeing Cojocaru and Corella again. Another energetic performance by both and I think a more detailed and fully-realised one too. The audience took a little while to warm up (they were strangely muted over Yanowsky's Street dancer and Harvey's Espada) but C&C brought cheers out of them as did Morera's Armour and Tapper's Dryad Queen. Ah well, it's goodbye to Don Quixote until next summer and hello Onegin in a week's time.

Did anyone else go?


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