Orlando Ballet and Orlando Philharmonic = Orlando Proud

Josh Garrick's picture

You may consider this a love letter to the Orlando Ballet Company.

There are only TWO more performances of the Orlando Ballet’s DON QUIXOTE left, and it is such a HUGE SUCCESS – IN EVERY WAY - that Don Quixote is THE ballet to see. GET ON THE PHONE AND BUY TICKETS for either Saturday evening or Sunday’s matinee.

Orlando Ballet and Orlando Philharmonic = Orlando Proud

Tonight – Opening Night – confirmed the hopes of ballet lovers throughout Central Florida.  There is GREATNESS at the Dr. Phillips Center. THIS production of DON QUIXOTE is by far the GREATEST performance they’ve presented in the past 20 years.

We already know about the ‘legendary’ sets and costumes rented from American Ballet Theatre. When they were debuted decades ago by America’s most illustrious ballet company, the amount of money spent on those sets and costumes was considered a scandal … until the production became a huge hit and a signature of the Company.

We also know about the fund-raising needed to have the Orlando Philharmonic playing the music LIVE --- so so worth it. To have performed that production to taped music would have been a crime – especially as the Orlando Philharmonic is sounding brilliant these days, and the Orchestra received its own ovation 3 three times during the evening.

But finally its about the dancing – It’s a Ballet – a famous ballet, and it is a ballet by which the reputation of any ballet company is measured. If that is so, the stars aligned, and the Orlando Ballet has attained ‘greatness.’ The group dances were so beautifully rehearsed and choreographed that OUR OWN ORLANDO BALLET could stand up to any production anywhere in the world. Every soloist stood out, but Andras Ronai as the Chief Matador must be mentioned for being perfect in every way. Finally – and most importantly – the two leads – Orlando’s own Arcadian Broad and Guest Artist Adiarys Almeida as the lovers – tore up the stage with comic passion and technique that showed both dancers were BORN to play these roles.

Ms. Almeida is unquestionably one of the great ballet dancers of our time. Watching her time those moments when she “stuck the pointe” and stood, smiling, on one leg – on pointe – were moments of timing perfection superseded only by the breath-taking number of double and triple fouettes she tossed off in the final pas de deux. 

Orlando’s own wunderkind of the Arts – Arcadian Broad – age 20 – has literally grown up before our eyes. Arcadian is perfect as Basilio, the handsome but penniless barber who wins the love of Kitri. The way they finally wed is slap-stick comedy that allows him to show off his technique (he spun in place with more variations and more ‘control’ than any of us has ever seen), and his partnering is giving and caring and strong. The fact that Arcadian Broad danced the male lead is achievement enough for all of us to be proud, but this young man is also a brilliant pianist AND composer (did you catch the age 20 thing?).

We will all see his latest work as Arcadian is the COMPOSER for the Ballet’s new production of Beauty and the Beast coming up at the end of April – BUT FOR NOW – TICKETS – THIS EVENING when you read this OR SUNDAY MATINEE. DO NOT MISS THIS. THOSE OF US IN THE AUDIENCE ON OPENING NIGHT WILL REMEMBER THIS PERFORMANCE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.  


Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators