Moscow Ballet – La Classique
The Moscow Ballet of Classical Choreography – “La Classique” was founded in 1990, utilising ballet dancers from the leading theatres of the CIS Countries and the Bolshoi, Kirov and Ballet Theatres of Kiev and Odessa.
Always in demand, Moscow Ballet – La Classique has recently thrilled ballet lovers during hugely successful tours of Egypt, Morocco, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Norway, Israel, Thailand, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand as well as the UK and this talented company have deservedly gained vast international acclaim.
The Original Daydream Believer with his trusty squire; That’s Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in a tale that is both comic and endearing. The colour and passion of Spain brought to life in spectacular dance by Moscow Ballet’s finest. Chivalry never dies when the Man from La Mancha roams the land!
A ballet in 3 Acts/6 Scenes loosely adapted from the libretto of Marius Petipa based upon the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes
Music: Ludwig Minkus
Choreography: Marius Petipa revised by Serge Manguette
First presented at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow 26 December 1869.
Act 1, Scene 1 – Overture/Introduction – Don Quixote’s House
Don Quixote of the Village of La Mancha is a middle-aged, eccentric gentleman so obsessed with tales of ancient chivalry, brave knights and beautiful ladies that, for his own good, his servants try to throw his books away. From dawn to dusk he is totally absorbed in stories of enchantments, quarrels, challenges, battles, wooing and the like and has reached the point where he can scarcely determine fantasy from reality. Eventually, his wits quite gone, he resolves that, though the age of knighthood has long since passed, he should improvise a suit of armour and become a Knight-Errant, roaming the world in search of adventures and righting every kind of wrong. Idealistic yet confused, he assumes the name Don Quixote de la Mancha.
In his daydreams he beholds the beautiful ‘lady of his thoughts’ – actually a village girl Aldonza Lorenza – upon whom he confers the name Dulcinea del Toboso. He determines to do good deeds in the name of his lady-love, who embodies every virtue and ideal.
He invites his mischievious neighbour – the peasant Sancho Panza – to serve as his squire and soon fills his head with such persuasions and promises that the gullible young man decides to sally forth with him as they defend virtue and punish all violators of the code of chivalry. To the dismay of his friends, Don Quixote has a succession of hapless adventures in which he views the everyday as legendary and often gets things wrong.
Act 1, Scene 2 – The Square in Barcelona
Basil, a barber is in love with Kitri, the innkeeper’s daughter, but much to her chagrin, her parents wish her to marry Gamache, a rich, pompous nobleman. Lorenzo, the innkeeper catches his daughter kissing Basil and forbids them to meet again; he won’t condone impecunious suitors!
Mercedes, a street dancer enters, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Espada, the famous toreador. Espada appears in the company of other toreadors flourishing their cloaks as they enact scenes from bullfights.
Don Quixote arrives with his Squire, confusing the Inn with a famous castle, his extraordinary appearance causing great commotion amidst the holiday crowd. He sees Kitri and is struck by her beauty, convinced that it is she who has haunted his dreams as the beautiful Dulcinea. Enraptured, he asks her to dance with him and, to playfully annoy Basil, she gracefully accepts. Soon afterwards Kitri and Basil seize their opportunity to slip away, unobserved.
As realization dawns upon Lorenzo and Gamache, they set off in pursuit of the lovers, closely followed by Don Quixote and his squire.
Act 2, Scene 1 – A Gypsy Encampment/The Adventure of the Windmills
Gypsies, alerted to the imminent arrival of Don Quixote and his Squire, prepare to trick them. The ‘knight’ enters to pay homage to the ‘king’ (the Gypsy leader), who then calls for dances to begin. All are inspired by the romance of the night. As he watches, Don Quixote mistakes one of the dancers for his beloved Dulcinea, he perceives her to be under attack and leaps to her rescue. Persuing her to nearby windmills – which he mistakes for menacing giants – he tilts at them, only to be cast aside by one of the sails before being revived and comforted by his trusty squire. Stunned from the fight with the windmill, or as Don Quixote would have it, wounded in combat, he rests.
Act 2, Scene 2 – The Dream
Don Quixote daydreams of Dulcinea in a wonderful garden attended by beautiful young ladies in the presence of Cupid, the Roman God of Love. The pleasant fantasy comes to an end all too soon and yet again Dulcinea vanishes.
Act 3, Scene 1 – The Tavern
Within the tavern, Kitri and Basil dance and drink with their friends to toast their escape. However, their happiness is short-lived due to the sudden arrival of Lorenzo and Gamache!
Basil, distressed that Kitri’s parents remain determined that their daughter will marry the foppish nobleman, pretends to stab himself and falls to the ground. With his ‘dying breath’ he pleads for Lorenzo to allow their marriage. At Don Quixote’s earnest entreaty and thinking Basil is dying, Lorenzo blesses the lovers. Instantly, Basil makes a miraculous recovery, jumps to his feet and kisses the astounded Lorenzo and the merrymaking resumes.
Act 3, Scene 2 – The Feast
All are finally united in the festivities of the joyous occassion as Kitri and Basil celebrate their betrothal in a grand pas de deux.
Don Quixote, realizing that he has not yet found his elusive Dulcinea, sets off in the company of Sancho Panza for yet more adventures.