A Classic Kitri's Advice

Walking may seem like the simplest moment you have on stage. But the way in which you take a step can reveal volumes about your character. In Pointe’s April/May issue, four dancers spoke with writer Joseph Carman about how they approach the walking and running in their signature roles. Here, Boston Ballet principal Erica Cornejo offers her take on Kitri’s steps.

 

ERICA CORNEJO

Boston Ballet

Role: Kitri in Don Quixote

Being Spanish, Kitri’s movement is sexy and spicy. When I walk or run, I feel the weight of my skirt. I also play with my shoulders and my hands, either placing them on my hips or grabbing the skirt, moving it from side to side. I run with the energy of my upper body, with my chest thrust forward—and with really fast feet!

 

In the second act dream scene as the vision of Dulcinea, I have to calm down. The walk is slower, soft—like a dreamy illusion. You also have to remember that Don Quixote is dreaming about Dulcinea, so she directs all of her gestures to him.

 

In the third act grand pas de deux, the walk is still soft, but with more life in it. Kitri’s very confident, passionate and in love. Yet she still has moments with her shoulders, flirting with Basilio, showing him she’s the sexy woman in control of everything.