The Only Word is “Wow”

Review of Don Quixote at Pacific Northwest Ballet by Amy O.

Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancers Carla Körbes and Karel Cruz in Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote.
Photo © Angela Sterling

Get ready for a night of laughing, gasping, and over all amazement with PNB’s Don Quixote. With breathtakingly beautiful costumes, magnificent music, fantastic acting and dazzling dancing, Don Quixote is undoubtedly one of the best shows I have ever seen at PNB.

Jérôme Kaplan's costumes are purely amazing. Bright colors and simple detailing make them incredibly charming and delightful. The flashy orange and pink capes of the bullfighters, the gorgeous fans that match each costume, and the classy red tutu of Kitri are the best parts. The sets--also by Kaplan--are also beautiful and realistic and I felt like I was transported to another world as I watched. The only word I have to describe the dream sequence is “wow.”

If you do not go to this show for the dancing, go for the music, composed by Ludwig Minkus. It is incredible. The way it moves the storyline so that words are not needed is exquisite. I found myself humming the music after the show, and feeling very pleased with my musical experience.

Both the dancing and acting are positively exquisite. The dancing looks completely effortless. Kitri does 32 fouettes in a row, while maintaining perfect posture and a cheerful expression. My mouth was wide open in shock. All the dancers look amazing in all their steps, no matter the difficulty. They are so effortless looking that I’m sure everyone in the audience believes, maybe only for a second, maybe still right now, that they themselves could do those steps. With every step I found myself more and more inspired by the commitment the dancers must have put in to make those steps beautiful and effortless looking.

Allen Galli as Sancho Panza, and Tom Skerritt as Don Quixote, with PNB Company dancers in Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote. Photo © Angela Sterling

The acting is also phenomenal. Don Quixote [Played by local celebrity Tom "Viper" Skerritt, Ed.] and Sancho Panza, played by Allen Galli, are great--very funny! When Skerritt's Don Quixote is in pain, you can tell by his facial expressions and gesticulation. Galli as Sancho Panza is very funny and animated as well. One of my favorite acted scenes was the “death” scene. I was laughing harder than I thought I ever could at a ballet. It’s a ballet, it’s usually not humorous, but, at the performance I attended, the whole audience was laughing at the scene. The dancers did a fantastic job with it.

Overall, this ballet is fantastic and once again I am blown away by the incredible job executed by the PNB dancers, musicians, and choreographers. I continue to applaud the exquisite dancing, music, and costumes and sets. Fabulous job, PNB. Bravo!

Don Quixote
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Through February 12

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