Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The Classics: Don Quixote
Recently, I took some flack on Twitter for disapproving of Ashley Wagner's choice to skate to Black Swan this season. My opinion is that one should avoid the great ballets if they lack the natural dance ability and extension necessary to portray a swan. In fact, it drew comparisons in my mind to the awful 2000-01 season when two of the world's top ladies subjected us to watch Don Quixote, perhaps my favorite balletic work, being butchered, tarred and feathered throughout the course of a season.
Don Quixote is derived from Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. Most skating programs involve Don Quixote's attempts to woo Kitri, whom Don Quixote mistakes for his beloved Dulcinea. Kitri is in love with Basillio, whom her father disapproves us. Basillio stabs himself to convince Kitri's father to reunite them in love, before he agrees and Basillio reveal it was all a joke. Kitri is young, flirtatious, mischievous and beautiful.
Don Quixote is one of the most famous and beloved Russian ballets. It is an ideal program for a young disciplined Oksana Baiul or Sasha Cohen. It was not prepared to be reduced by Robin Wagner and her off-beat, gangly muse.
It was also not prepared to be Irina Slutskaya's vehicle to flirt with her fat husband.
An underrated Don Quixote program:
A program not to be forgotten or ignored, nor would his ego allow you to. John Curry knew how good this was. It is discerning Frank Carroll's favorite skating performance.
Even if Natalia Mishkutenok isn't a natural Kitri's, Artur's dramatic flair more than makes up for it.
Tiffany Stiegler was the next best thing since Katia, and Irina and Elena worked to have her bring every Russian Ballet to life, even if her brother played her romantic hero. Don Quixote was a no-brainer.
Not only did Katherine Healy perform Don Quixote on stage... (cont'd.)
she brought it to the ice.
Back when he was cute, Evgeny Plushenko displayed his out-of-this-world potential. It is a shame that more of his programs weren't similar to this one.
Scott Hamilton's parody. Frankly, I find a hot Russian man in tights doing DQ delicious.
There is nothing funny about Ivan Vasiliev...or his ass in those tights.
They have the look and the line, but this program never reached its potential. Adapting a classic ballet to twizzle and combination lift requirements is not a simple task. Still, they have lovely qualities.
And just to make up for showing you Hughes AND Slutksaya (and a Robin Wagner 'goosebumps' fluff piece...