Dance review: Final Ballet Nacional de Cuba ‘Don Quixote’ at the Chandler Pavilion

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For the final performance of its first North American tour since 2003, Ballet Nacional de Cuba danced a thrilling, go-for-broke “Don Quixote” on Sunday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Corps unanimity proved much stronger than at the Thursday opening, and nearly every soloist exemplified ideal Cuban incandescence. Highlights included Dani Hernández as a brilliantly sinewy yet aristocratic Espada, Jessie Domínguez as a sparkling Mercedes and Osiel Gounod exploding into star-is-born virtuosity as the Young Gypsy.

As Basilio, Alejandro Virelles contributed gorgeous floating jumps and a stylistic purity that would be welcome in any ballet of the repertory. And, as always, Viengsay Valdés as Kiri stopped time cold by coming out of supported turns into miraculously sustained balances on one pointe -- often with changes of position midway through. There was one standing ovation before the solos in the grand pas de deux and another at the end. Unforgettable.



Dance review: Ballet Nacional de Cuba opens at the Pavilion in ‘Don Quixote’

Dance review: Ballet Nacional de Cuba at Segerstrom Center

Alicia Alonso, Cuba’s living legend of ballet

-- Lewis Segal

File photo: Viengsay Valdés and Alejandro Virelles in ‘Don Quixote.’ Credit: Nancy Reyes