There’s nothing quite like getting dressed up for a night at the ballet, and the Joburg Ballet’s production of Don Quixote is the perfect opportunity to do so
Set in the streets of Barcelona, the ballet tells the age-old story of the young lovers Kitri and Basilio, determined to be together against all odds, and is one of our all-time favourites. The tale is romantic, the music is spellbinding, and the choreography allows for a more light-hearted interpretation of the tale. In this local production, there’s an amusing amount of on-stage mischief that might not otherwise be permitted in an international company. And it’s so lovely to see talented South African dancers perform these roles with grace and ease in a ballet that’s heart-warming and visually spectacular.
On opening night, the lead roles were danced by Cuban-born Claudia Monja and Juan Carlos Osma. The two are perfectly paired with their matching height and strength – and their elevation is jaw-dropping! Another of the cast’s highlights is Javier Monier, who dances the role of a street child. His solos are some of the most impressive in the production, with an astounding number of pirouettes, arabesques and cabrioles. All this, combined with his character’s cheeky personality, make him an audience favourite. And, of course, one couldn’t comment on the performance without mentioning ballet veteran Nigel Hannah, who plays Don Quixote himself.
I couldn’t imagine a more wonderful way to welcome in the Joburg Ballet’s spring season than with this charming, technically-brilliant ballet.
Don Quixote is on at The Mandela at the Joburg Theatre until13 September. See joburgtheatre.com for more information.