Magazine article Pointe

Suzanne Farrell Tilts at Windmills

Magazine article Pointe

Suzanne Farrell Tilts at Windmills

Article excerpt

Suzanne Farrell's extraordinary gift for presenting George Balanchine ballets and coaching young dancers has added laurels to her outstanding career. Her revivals heretofore have been admirable, presenting both repertoire and chosen dancers to great advantage. But the severely disappointing revival of Balanchine's Don Quixote, which her Suzanne Farrell Ballet presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on June 22, opening a series of five performances, did not enhance her reputation or that of the great choreographer.

Perhaps it was quixotic to revive this ballet.

Balanchine created the eveninglength Don Quixote as a gift to Farrell, his last muse, in 1965. Her tie to it is thus very strong. But it was never one of Balanchine's great ballets; and this production sadly displayed its weaknesses. A rambling literary work is not easy to transpose to dance, and Don Quixote presented many characters whose connection with the action seemed tenuous. It meandered vaguely from often puzzling dramatic scenes to set dances where attractive young people executed not very interesting patterns. The only scene that fully displayed Balanchine's genius was a dream sequence in the last act, like the vision scene in The Sleeping Beauty. This divertissement was lovely, but marred by incongruous solos for two secondary ballerinas. Designed in the master's perkyquirky mode, the solos seemed at variance with the dreamy melancholy asked of leading ballerina Sonia Rodriguez.

Rodriguez did not serve the ballet well. …

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