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Don Quixote

ballet in three acts with a prologue
music by Ludwig Minkus

Don Quixote
Libretto: : Marius Petipa based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes
Choreography: Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky
Additional Choreography: Igor Belsky, Fyodor Lopukhov, Robert Gerbek, Nikita Dolgushin
Set Design: Vyacheslav Okunev
Costume Design: Irina Press
Lighting Design: Mikhail Mekler
Premiere of the production at the Mikhailovsky Theatre: November 21, 1996

The classical ballet Don Quixote was first staged by Marius Petipa in 1869.
However, it is the version by Alexander Gorsky and later choreographers that gained huge popularity of the public. The ballet is not a stage version of the great novel by Cervantes but an independent piece based on it.
The main characters — Don Quixote and Sancho Panza — turned to minor ones, and the main plot is the story of love of Kitri, the daughter of an innkeeper, and Basil, a smart and resourceful barber. The ballet is full of joy and love, and a fiery nature of Spanish dance. The public is sure to enjoy famous pas de deux ends with the fireworks of 32 fouettés by the ballerina and powerful jetés by the male dancer.


Having read tales ofáchivalry Don Quixote has aávision ofáDulcinea del Toboso. Accompanied byáhis devoted armour-bearer Sancho Panza Don Quixote sets out toáprotect the Beautiful Lady.

Act I

Scene one

Aáholiday crowd has gathered ináfront ofáLorenzo’s inn ináBarcelona. Lorenzo’s daughter, Kitri, isáflirting with Basil aábarber. Lorenzo isáfurious toásee them together: he’d like toáhave aárich nobleman Gamache for his son-in-law, not aápoor barber.

Kitri, however, refuses toámarry Gamache. Aácompany ofátoreadors appear onáthe square, led byáfamous Espada. Toreadors are dancing pretending toáfight the bull. Toáeverybody’s admiration the street dancer who isáinálove with Espada isádancing between the knives.

Suddenly Sancho Panza blows aáhorn toáannounce the arrival ofáthe knight-errant ofálaáMancha. Lorenzo isádelighted toáinvite the stranger toáhis inn. Sancho isáteased byáthe people onáthe square and Don Quixote rushes toárescue his armour-bearer. Everybody isádancing again. Kitri and Basil are together again. The knight sees Kitri and isástruck byáher beauty. Isáitánot her who has haunted his dreams asáthe beautiful Dulcinea? Don Quixote kneels before her but Kitri leaves with Basil. Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote accompanied byáSancho Panza set out inásearch ofáthe runaway lovers.

Act II

Scene two

Kitri and Basil have come toáaálonely place atáaáwindmill. Aágypsy camp has set nearby. The gypsies welcome the young lovers. Sancho Panza and Don Quixote arrive. The gypsies invite everybody toáattend aáplay they are about toáperform: aátoy-knight sets out inásearch ofáadventures and his wife isáraped byáaácruel moor.

Don Quixote takes the play for real and isáanxious toárevenge. The improvised theatre isádestroyed. The frightened actors and spectators scatter ináall directions. The turning sails ofáaáwindmill then catch Don Quixote’s eye. They are the arms ofágiants! Sancho tries toábring Don Quixote toáhis senses, but inávain.

Don Quixote isáattacking the ‘giant’. His clothes get caught onáaásail and heáisáfirst swung upáinto the air. Soon afterwards the knight falls down and faints. Monsters and ghosts are around him.

Scene three

The wounded knight has aádream ofáaámagic wood ináthe kingdom ofáthe dryads. Dulcinea isáhere too. Cupid sends anáarrow ofáeternal love toáthe heart ofáDon Quixote.

But that’s just aádream. Sancho Panza turns his master toáreality. Gamache and Lorenzo arrive inásearch ofáKitri and Basil. Don Quixote sends Lorenzo and Gamache onáaáfalse trail, but Sancho Panza corrects his master’s ‘mistake’. The chase goesáon.

Scene four

Festive crowd iságathering atáanáinn. Kitri and Basil are happy toáescape Gamache and Lorenzo. Toreadors and Espada appear hear too. Beautiful Mercedes isádancing for Espada.

Suddenly Kitri’s father enters the inn. Kitri hides behind her friends but Lorenzo finds the daughter and blesses Kitri and Gamache. Basil isádesperate. Death isábetter than life without Kitri: heádecides toácommit suicide. Kitri begs her father toábless their love: Basil isádying. Lorenzo hesitates. Don Quixote makes him doáthis. Basil immediately recovers: his suicide was just aájoke. Gamache protests, but isádriven out unceremoniously. The feast goesáon.


Scene five

The wedding feast isátaking place onáthe square. Everybody iságlad for Kitri and Basil. Don Quixote isáthe guest ofáhonor atáthe wedding. But soon accompanied byáhis faithful Sancho Panza heáleaves inásearch ofánew adventures.



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