Dance: The Americanization of Don Q

A bravura triumph for Baryshnikov and Kirkland

Whatever his private anguish at having left the Soviet Union may be, Mikhail Baryshnikov's professional motto must be "Don't look back." Last week, in an American Ballet Theater premiere at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center, he took Don Quixote, a favorite Russian ballet little known in this country, and turned it into—a classical vaudeville? A romantic comedy? A Broadway musical en pointe? The new Don Q is in part all of these, a marvel of speed, timing and razzle-dazzle. The setting is Spanish and the tradition Russian, but the flavor is distinctly American.

Don Q's subtitle, Kitri's...

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