Director: Pavel Bubelnikov Composer: Ludwig Minkus Choreographer: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa Cast: Olesia Novikova, Leonid Sarafanov, Nikolai Subrovsky, Yana Selina
Don Quixote is a spirited tale of forbidden love and the bitter competition between youth and age, performed by an exceptionally talented company of dancers.
Last weekend I conducted an experiment. Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau theatres regularly screen world-renowned ballet performances and I watched the Bolshoi Ballet Company's recorded performance of Don Quixote to see how a ballet measured up as a film.
Admittedly, the elegant and glamorous atmosphere found in a theatre is missing, but there are also many advantages. For one, it is much easier to follow the storyline in the dancing, if you're unfamiliar with it to start with. Another pro is that you get a much closer look at the more subtle nuances of the dancers' performances.
The young principals give particularly feisty and joyous renditions. Don Quixote's story includes an elopement, several duels, castanets, tambourines, a band of gypsies, a couple of flamenco dancers and an Asian belly dancer.
Ballet is not for everyone and if you've tried it before and know for a fact that it's not your thing, then, well, okay.
But if you've never seen a ballet in your life, Don Quixote is a brilliant show to get a taste of the fun it can be.