Carlos Acosta's New Don Q—Live in US Theaters

posted by Jennifer Stahl on Thursday, Oct 10, 2013
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Marianela Nunez as Kitri in Don Q. Photo by Johan Persson, Courtesy ROH.

For the first time ever, The Royal Ballet will begin streaming performances live into US movie theaters this season. No, this isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea any more. But the company is kicking it off with quite a bang: Carlos Acosta’s new production of Don Quixote. Dance Magazine spoke to his first cast Kitri, Marianela Nunez, to get the inside scoop.

 

What was it like to work with Carlos Acosta as a choreographer?

Amazing. He’s known me since I was a teenager—we joined the company the same year—and we’ve danced together many times. He’s got the biggest heart, and brings this great energy to the studio. He was so natural in that role that we weren’t even aware of it! The process was like collaboration between him and us.

 

What’s his Don Q like?

He gave us a chance to show off every single aspect of dance and acting. He made a production that’s very natural—he wanted us to be real people onstage. He didn’t want “ballet acting,” but for us to live the characters, and even talk onstage. And the way the sets are designed, the scenery moves to create different atmospheres and angles on stage, so it feels very modern even though he uses ballet as a classical base. It has a very 21st-century feel.

 

Does your performance change when a ballet is being filmed for movie theaters?

I do project differently. And when the camera’s up close, especially these days with HD, people see everything! So my makeup changes, my acting becomes a little subtler. But I’m still performing in a theater that night, too, so it’s a very fine line.

 

What do you particularly like about Don Q?

For me, Don Q is very special: I did it 10 years ago at 20 years old with Carlos, and after that performance I became a principal dancer. To come back to it now with more experience, and with Carlos as its owner, it’s like I’ve come full circle.

 

See The Royal Ballet in Don Quixote next Wednesday, October 16 at 7pm local time in select theaters. Check fathomevents.com for show times near you.