In his production of "Don Quixote," Mikhail Baryshnikov has gone all out to amuse and amaze, but he hasn't gone far enough. The characters of Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and Dulcinea have been whittled down to nearly nothing. The depiction of Spain is indeed imaginary, colorful and rowdy (as well it should be) but it tends more toward the garish than the picturesque. Gimmicks are plentiful, but they aren't especially clever or hilarious.
The dancers in yesterday's matinee perfomance displayed similar "satisfactory but not sensational" quality. Marianna Tcherkassky's debut as Kitri came as a pleasant surprise, for this ordinarily fragile, featherlight performer managed to bring forth endless reserves of strong, spitfire allure. Yet despite HER TECHNICAL AND DRAMATIC CONFIDENCE, tcherkassky's strength never once became brilliance.
Blond, bright-eyed Danilo Radojevic is a technical daredevil. His fun-loving, boyish Basil seems to be patterned after Baryshnikov's roguish portrayal, but Radojevic hasn't yet achieved the control or clarity that this part demands.
In her debut as Mercedes, Lisa de Rebere seemed at ease in both the classical and the demi-caratere vocabularies. Eric Weichardt brought the sadly reduced character of the Don to happy, distinctive life, and Victor Barbee made a wonderful foppish Gamache.