Spanish sun shines as fun story plays out to the Tchaikovsky beat

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Don Quixote Blackpool Grand Theatre

NEATLY stepping into the post pantomime vacuum, the timing couldn't be better for the welcome annual visit to Blackpool of the Russian State Ballet of Siberia.

For the first time in a long time there's a real buzz about ballet. Hollywood blockbuster Black Swan in its way to UK cinemas soon starring a size zero or less Natalie Portman, Adjustment Bureau with Emily Blunt as another ribcage on legs won't be far behind it, television dance series have boosted interest in all forms of terpsichory and even Dame Cheryl Cole has a ballet theme to one of her videos.

Thankfully this company will probably remain immune to the new spotlight being shone on what they do so effortlessly – performing classical ballets as they were intended.

Tchaikovsky's music is delightfully upbeat and there's a real sense of Spanish sunshine and fun about this extremely loose re-telling of part of the Don Quixote story.

Ekaterina Bulgutova as young lover Kitri and later Anastasia Kazantseva as Mercedes and a Bolero dancer make the aforementioned Portman seem like a positive over indulger but are both first rate in their roles – with Ivan Karnaukhov similarly spirited as male principal Basil.

A welcome opener to the company's trio of productions on this visit.