Kevin Griffin from the Vancouver Sun reports on the troupe’s execution of Don Quixote where the National Ballet of Cuba gets three standing ovations!
Classical ballet dancing doesn’t get much better than the National Ballet of Cuba.
Vancouverites got their first chance to see some of the best dancers in the world on stage in Don Quixote at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Thursday. Audience members responded enthusiastically with two standing ovations during the performance – plus one at the end.
In particular, premier dancer Viengsay Valdés as Kitri combined great stage presence with outstanding skill. It’s no surprise that she’s rated the sixth best dancer in the world. In her pas de deux in the third act, she balanced en pointe on one toe while she raised the other behind her. She didn’t do that just once but five times. Lest anyone think she could only do it on one side, she did it with both the right and left legs.
After Valdés electrified the audience with her performance, the focus shifted to her partner, Osiel Gounod as Basilio. Full of bravado and confidence, he momentarily paused and looked at the audience as if to say: “Yes, she’s good. But so am I. Watch me.”
And that’s what we did as he commanded the stage with his performance. When he jumped with outstretched legs during grand jetés, he had so much height he appeared to be momentarily defying gravity and floating. When he landed, he touched down softly, ready and able to leap again – and again and again. When Gounod danced, he wasn’t just following choreography. He became the dance.
I can picture their exhuberant performance. To read more of Griffin’s article click here.
Here’s a taste of what the audience witnessed. In the video below, it’s Ivan Vasiliev who partners Viengsay Valdes in Don Quixote’s last years performance in New York. Notice second :29 as the couple wows the spectators with their lift. Amazing!
Viengsay’s balance in attitude derrière (minute 2:00 – 2:10) on her right leg and then on her left leg (minute 3:33 – 3:44) is what surely brought the the Vancouver audience to stand three times. Just listen to this New York crowed cheering.
In this video, the male dancer is Ivan Vasiliev who you can see here in the video Kings of the Dance.
Did you enjoy the bravura of Ms. Valdes? You can understand why the National Ballet of Cuba Gets Three Standing Ovations and why fans love Alicia Alonso’s company?
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