Royal Ballet’s “Don Quixote” Review – Ballet Milestone

Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez


From where we sat it looked more like a Methusaleh-sized Champagne bottle than a simple Magnum.  It was a gift given to lead dancer and “Don Quixote” choreographer Carlos Acosta at the conclusion of the ballet, during a long and spirited standing ovation for the performance. 


Marianela Nuñez


Argentinian Prima Ballerina Marianela Nuñez who seemed to be Acosta’s stellar equal throughout the performance was beaming as she retreated demurely to a point further backstage to give Acosta the total spotlight. 


Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez


We had just watched Acosta’s last performance of the Royal Ballet’s “Don Quixote” he had choreographed with an insider’s eye to how dancers can create beauty on the stage. 


Lighting Design by Hugh Vanstone


It was not only the two stars—Acosta and Nuñez—but the entire troupe that danced with perfection seeming to glide into bends, make fluid leaps, flutter on point, and simply dazzle. 


Carlos Acosta and Marianela Nuñez and members of The Royal Ballet


This was a pure confection of ballet, above and beyond the milestone performance by a troupe that has not been to Chicago for 37 years.  


Christopher Saunders as Don Quixote with members of The Royal Ballet


True, even more than most story ballets the biggest leap was in wrapping your head around a story line that resembled Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”. 


Set design by Tim Hatley


Not to worry though.  Just lean back and admire the set design (Tim Hatley) that somehow was transported across the pond and particularly revel at how granularly synched the dancers’ moves were with the music by Ludwig Minkus


Was that really our beloved Chicago Sinfonietta playing so expertly from the pit under the baton of the Royal Ballet’s Martin Yates?  Indeed, a peak into the pit during one of the intermissions confirmed it.  Bravo!


This was the last dance performance in the Auditorium Theatre’s 125th Anniversary Season.  Let’s hope that airfare to London goes down or that the Auditorium Theatre brings the Royal Ballet back sooner than later.


Tickets for the Auditorium Theatre’s 2015 – 16 season are on sale for dance and music.  Visit the Auditorium Theatre webpages  or call 800 982 2787.




Photos:  Johan Persson

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