My review in tomorrow’s Chronicle:

“I thought I’d died and woken up in a different era of ballet history Friday night. After opening its Cal Performances run earlier last week with a pristine but lifeless anthology of Petipa’s Greatest Hits, the Kirov Ballet overwhelmed a standing-ovation crowd at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall with a “Don Quixote” that was sensationally spirited, sunny, even swarthy – in a word, blood-pumping.

The spectacle was all the more disarming at a time when performances of the 19th century story ballets – especially in America – tend to be box-office driven and dutiful. “Don Quixote” is the Russians’ heritage – Petipa created it for the rival Bolshoi Ballet in 1869, and the Kirov credits its production (questionably) to the 1902 Alexander Gorsky staging – but the Kirov doesn’t dance it like a museum piece. Instead, the famous Kirov tough-as-nails technique feels unloosed in a faux-Spanish celebration of gypsy madness and young love.”

Click here for the full review.

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