DON QUIXOTE in the ballet repertoire since 1869 and is one of Carlos Acosta’s favorite ballets. He performed it for the first time at the age of sixteen. He will go on to create his own production for the Royal Ballet in 2013.

Acosta has now created a production especially for Birmingham Royal Ballet. Scheduled for 2020 but delayed due to Covid, it has a new take, new choreography and a new look. Tim Hatley is the designer. The performance is lighter and more touring.

The transformation of the Mill into a monster with giant hands is an impressive sight. However, the knight errant and his squire Sancho Panza play a peripheral role. Ballet men go to Don Quixote for 32 fuettes; not for Cervantes.

The ballet is a showcase for the dancers who played the young lovers. Momoka Hirata and Mathias Dingman as Kitri and Basilio take center stage with a dazzling display of talent.

Don Quixote — ballet for virtuosos. Acosta makes sure that everyone has their moment, directors, soloists and troupe members. Brandon Lawrence is a charismatic matador

The production is pure escapism. One diversion follows another with speed. Ludwig Minkus may not be Tchaikovsky; but his music is very melodic and very danceable.

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Robert Tanitch reviews Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Don Quixote at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London

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