RVA Ballet’s Don Quixote is an extremely impressive international exchange of minds and bodies
With the collaboration of the National ballets of Canada and China, along with our own Richmond Ballet, the exceptional production of Don Quixote at the Carpenter Center shows what happens when great minds and bodies come together.
Guest principal dancers Wang Ye and Ma Xiaodong from the National Ballet of China left their Richmond audience completely spellbound. Their international presence, along with their precision and powerful technique, had the audience delighted and stunned. It was an absolute pleasure to see these guest dancers perform lead roles with our own company – and in such a fun and exuberant ballet such as Don Quixote.
There is no other production like Don Quixote. Not only were the props incredibly impressive, but the costumes were lively and rich in color. I don’t know if it were the clapping tambourines, the flicking of Spanish fans, the dancing bull fighters, or the light illuminated from stage, but I was completely transported from icy wet Richmond to warm and sunny Spain.
The props from the National ballet of Canada were phenomenal and created a certain depth on stage that Richmonders, until now, had only seen in productions like the Nutcracker. From the vibrant Spanish market to a damp and secluded gypsy tavern, the adventures and admirable imagination of the aging Don Quixote came to life on an extraordinary and monumental scale.
Richmond’s own Lauren Fagone and Philip Skaggs also showcased amazing performances.
Who said romance is dead?! Not these two, their performance was steamy, emotional, and magnetic. Maggie Small also gave a singular performance. She completely captured the free spirit of the cheerful Street Dancer ‘Mercedes’ in the production and was undoubtedly captivating.
The ballet is no longer for date night. Don Quixote‘s themes of fairy-tale love, imagination, coy games, lust, reality, and long lost chivalry are what makes this ballet perfect for the whole family. I highly recommend this ballet for children particularly for its playful and exaggerated characters. Principle roles for “Sancho Panze” and “Gamache” danced by Trevor Davis and Matthew Frain were absolutely hilarious and had all, young and old laughing out loud. Don Quixote is far beyond the stuffy ballet cliche.
Don Quixote evolved into more of an interactive production for me, you could tell the dancers were having as much fun as we were, and that connection is what inevitably provoked a standing ovation from the whole house by the end of the night.
Or perhaps was it Wang fully suspended in the air by Ma’s one arm?
Simply, Don Quixote is a very fun, and an extremely impressive ballet. With guest dancers who know very little English successfully harmonizing with the Richmond ballet company, it was clear that ballet truly is the international language.
And with connections and relationships that the family at Richmond ballet embodies., I highly recommend you mark your calendars for the next production!
Photos via by Sarah Ferguson Richmond Ballet 2015. All rights reserved.
Nicole has been dancing since early childhood and can't get enough. You can find her salsa dancing at Havana 59 or tango dancing at the Vmfa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from VCU and strives to keep the arts alive! She loves all things lavender, pugs, and crisp weather.
When you age and life becomes more precious, more and more things touch you and make you cry.April 22, 2016
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