Hungarian National Ballet Performs Don Quixote
Gorgeous Production. Gorgeous Opera House
By: Patrick Lynch - Oct 05, 2023
The Hungarian National Ballet’s production of Don Quixote at The Budapest Opera House on October 4, 2023 was a joyful presentation. The energy and mirth emanating from the stage was infectious and intoxicating: I was practically jumping out of my seat with excitement by the end of the Act III pas de deux as Kitri, danced by Tatyjana Melnyik, balanced on pointe for what seemed an eternity. Suspended by our vigorous applause – it seemed to fuel her determination as evidenced by her beaming smile – an ebb and flow of joyful energy was created between artist and audience which permeated not only this highlighted moment, but the entire performance. (I confess, I was actually sweating from my efforts to show my appreciation for the dancers onstage).
This Don Quixote is a beautiful production with impressive sets, gorgeous costumes, fine acting and exceptional dancing. But, the piece de resistance, was this overwhelming quality of joy...this joie de vivre - or, az élet öröme, in Hungarian - that rolled like waves upon the audience and back upon the performers: a symbiotic love affair. It even permeated the dance of tortured anguish in Act II’s gypsy camp solo danced by Lea Földi: we felt confident this bereaved lover would smile again someday. This was my first time in Budapest, and my first time attending a performance by the Hungarian National Ballet and I can confidently acclaim, in comparison to many international companies I have seen, that the entire ensemble - from Corps de Ballet to Principals - convey a unique quality of joyful harmony onstage.
As I watched these beautiful dancers, I began to think about the beauty of the building within which we were seated. It occurred to me that when we consider the quality of human beauty we often agree on the old adage that “beauty comes from within” or that “inner beauty” is what matters most. So, as I sat there within this beautiful opera house, watching this exceptional performance, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly that yes, beauty does come from within: the Budapest Opera House,with all its loveliness and attractiveness in décor and refinements, would be meaningless without performances like this Don Quixote, the inner beauty that brings so much joy.
Gratulálunk az egész mvészi csapatnak és a táncosoknak:
Paul Connelly, Conductor
Mikus Ludwig, Set Designer
István Rózsa, Costume Designer
Nóra Rományi, Lighting Designer
Attila Szakács, Don Quixote
Dmitry Shukov, Sancho Panza
Tatjana Melnyik, Kitri
Motomi Kiyoto, Basil
Boris Zhurilov, Espada
Jessica Carulla Leon, Mercedes
Lea Foldi, Gypsy soloist