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Lewis J. Whittington, May 2014

MINKUS, L.: Don Quixote (Royal Ballet, 2013) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7143D
MINKUS, L.: Don Quixote (Royal Ballet, 2013) (NTSC) OA1133D

Acosta’s spectacular classical ballet fireworks come in the wedding scene finale, starting with glittering entrechats and unison formations of the corps de ballet women. Nuñez is distinctive in her pointe work, with those steeled and supple pointes en arabesques, thrillingly paced fouettes and lightning jetés. Along with her impeccable line, Nuñez’s chemistry with Acosta just leaps off the screen. Acosta is also a wonderful technician; his jumps don’t reach elevation of a decade ago, but, at 40, he dances with precision and passion.

The ballet’s production design by Tim Hatley is a feast starting with spectacular color schemes of the costumes that animate the screen and show the dancers. From the detailing in the peasant clothes to the opulence of the royal costumes, to the iconic look of Quixote, they keep giving. They are framed against sketched Spanish village backdrops. The forest scene has trees silhouetted against red hues for mysterious atmospherics, the tavern scene with dark wood and copper ambience.

The director films seamlessly between full stage and individual performances to tell a coherent story, with strategic close-ups. There is the atmosphere of the real performance in the theater. A triumph for Nuñez and Acosta at their curtain calls, the audience was so lusty in their applause the Royal Opera House sounded like a soccer stadium. © 2014 Read complete review

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