Ballet San Jose begins its 2013 season with the Wes Chapman staging of Don Quixote. Colorful, lively and at times a good laugh, this was an upbeat performance.
Don Quixote is a man driven by the ideals of chivalry and his all consuming love for Dulcinea who exists only in his delusions. Along with his sidekick, Sancho, their meanderings bring them to an encounter with a young woman ; Kitri, who has problems of her own. Her money driven father wants to marry her to a full of himself nobleman who is decked out in yards of blue velvet and bling. Kitri has her own ideas, mainly, to forget the fop and marry her ideal man; Basilio. With the help of their friends and Don Q. they manage to secure a happy ending for all. Watching the performance, I could almost feel the warm Spanish sun emanating from the inviting haciendas on stage as Spanish ladies and gents, Gypsies, toreadors, Dryads and assorted townspeople danced with multi-colored whirling skirts and capes.
All the dancers were great and some of my favs were the cute as Tinkerbell; Maria Jacobs-Yu as ‘Cupid’, the fabulous Kitri ; Amy Briones, who dazzled in the last act and of course Kitri’s very strong main squeeze Basilio leaping across the stage by Jeremy Kovitch. And not to be forgotten was the performance by Maximo Califano as the title character, Don Quixote. Wow— You could totally envision his face on a poster titled “This is your brain on drugs.” It was amazing just how much he conveyed without saying a word. All this and much more while the orchestra under super conductor George Daugherty spun a musical spell.
Before the performance started, parents with young children were invited to attend three different activities in separate areas of the theater. They were timed so that all three could be attended. I watched as budding artists decorated ‘fans’ and ‘guitars’ with all sorts of goodies, future ballerinas took a lesson from BSJ dancers and a floor circle of attentive faces listened to one of BSJ’s own reading the story of Don Quixote, complete with pictures. There were lots of smiles on boys and girls alike and even a tutu and hair sparkles could be seen here and there.
For more information and to purchase tickets for upcoming Ballet San Jose shows, please visit www.balletsj.org