As the Royal Ballet kicks off its autumn 2013 season it finds itself in a very precarious situation given the fact that it lost stars Alina Cojocaru and Tamara Rojo to the English National Ballet. This alone might be enough to make its first debut of Don Quixote nerve wracking, but the fact that their productions are no longer seen as an even match to the productions of Birmingham Royal Ballet means that they have much more to prove this season.
Therefore, it seems odd that they would choose Don Quixote to compete with given the fact that the play is long considered to have a weak narrative without many emotional tales. However, the Hispanic romance most likely has stroke a chord in Charlos Acosta who grew up in Havana so it’s not so surprising he would be drawn to the tale.
Acosta mostly chose to leave alone most of the famous set pieces allowing the set to resemble past productions choosing to prune out some pieces instead of creating his own. He does however choose to take the action up a bit many times by moving dancers up on top of a bodega or wagon which is very enlivening to the play. He also adds a bit of street dance into the choreography which his quite interesting.
The effect works as the corps keep in beat and the soloists really stand out with Beatrix Stix-Brunel and Yuhui Choie demanding attention. Other stand outs in the ballet include Ryoichi Hirano, Elizabeth Harrod, and Mellissa Hamilton. There are a few flaws, but overall the cast manages to convey technical skill and enough charisma to attract the audience’s approval. Acosta also hopes prove that he is a force to be reckoned with on the dancing scene.