One of the major commitments Michael Pink has as the artistic director for the Milwaukee Ballet is to provide opportunities for dancers to stretch and move into roles where they are challenged to progress in their careers.
As a result of that commitment, it is possible to sometimes see a star being born. That was the case Thursday night when the ballet opened Pink’s "Don Quixote" at the Marcus Center. Incredibly, two ballerinas stepped up and grabbed the audience's imagination.
The first two acts of the ballet – the story of the wandering knight in search of his Dulcinea – featured the kind of outstanding performances we in Milwaukee have come to expect from leading artists like Davit Hovhannisyan, Alexandre Ferreira, Patrick Howell and the two mesmerizing leading women in the company: Luz San Miguel and Nicole Teague.
When any of those five are on the floor, either alone or in combinations, you know that something special is happening. San Miguel grabbed the role of Kitri by the throat and carried it to amazing heights as her affections were battled over by Ferreira and Hovhannisyan.
The second act of the ballet sees our hero joust with a windmill he thought was a demon and is knocked unconscious.
We then see Pink at his very best both creatively and with his devotion to telling a story.
While Don Q lays in the middle of the stage, 12 dancers, six from each side, pitter patter in with little steps, decked out in costumes identical to the one worn by Dulcinea. Don Q has never had a dream like this. The 12 are soon joined by the ravishing Valerie Harmon, the real Dulcinea, who in turn is joined by both Susan Gartell and Jennifer Ferrigno. All are dressed identically, and Harmon takes an extended turn "en pointe" as the shining love of Don Q’s life with a verve and grace that makes you understand just why this old guy is crazy about her.
In the third act, Ferreira and Annia Hidalgo, in her fourth year with the company, brought down the house with thei…Read more...