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21 March 2020 (Sat), 19:30 Hermitage Theatre of Classical Russian Ballet - Classical Ballet Ludwig Minkus "Don Quixote"

Schedule for Ludwig Minkus "Don Quixote" 2020

Composer: Ludwig Minkus

Orchestra: St. Petersburg State Governor's Symphony orchestra

World premiere: 14 December 1869, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow (choreography by Marius Petipa)

"Don Quixote" is one of Marius Petipa's much-loved 19th-century classics - its story is drawn from Miguel de Cervantes's classic novel and set to Ludwig Minkus's score. The ballet has long been acclaimed for its virtuoso dancing, beautiful and technically demanding 'vision scene' and the famously bravura and breath-taking Act III pas de deux.

Although Petipa's creation was not the first ballet to be made from the Don Quixote story, it is by far the most successful and well remembered through several revivals. This is possibly because it was created at the height of Petipa's choreographic career.

Libretto: Marius Petipa based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote is absorbed in reading books of chivalry. Fictitious happenings become more real to him than anything else in the world. His day-dreaming is interrupted by Sancho Panza, a fat man, pursued by peasant women for pilfering. Don Quixote stands up for him and the grateful Sancho becomes his squire.


Scene 1
A square in Barcelona. Festive animation reigns at Lorenzo’s inn. Kitri, the innkeeper’s daughter is coquetting with the barber Basil, who is in love with her. Kitri’s father sees them and drives Basil away. He wants Kitri to get married to a wealthy hidalgo. But Kitri stubbornly refuses to yield to her father’s will. Toreadors headed by famous Espada stalk along the square. They start a dance imitating a corrida. A street dancer, who is in love with Espada dances among daggers and enraptures everybody. Suddenly the crowd parts: Sancho Panza gives blasts on his horn heralding that the knight-errant Don Quixote is coming. Lorenzo courteously invites a queer-looking visitor in his inn. Sancho stays in the square where burgers start mocking at him. Don Quixote hurries to rescue his squire. Dances are resumed. Enamored Basil and Kitri are together again. On seeing Kitri, Don Quixote takes her for his lady-love. He kneels down in front of the innkeeper’s daughter...


Scene 2
Kitri and Basil are alone in the meadow at the windmills. There is a gypsy encampment nearby. Don Quixote and his loyal squire Sancho Panza come here. Gipsies invite everybody to see a marionette performance. Marionettes play a comedy in which a knight leaves home to perform his deeds of chivalry, whereas his wife is kidnapped by a cruel Moor. Don Quixote stands up for the offended wishing to restore fairness.
Everybody flees in horror, the theatre crashes down. Don Quixote catches sight of long arms of the giants-the windmills. Sancho tries to persuade the knight-errant that it is not a giant but a windmill. But Don Quixote attacks the imagianary giant and a sail-arm ifts him in the air. Don Quixote loses his grip and falls down unconscious. Monsters and phantoms surround the knight-errant.

Scene 3
Visions arise in the mind of the wounded knight-it seems to him that he is in a beautiful forest among the ruins of an ancient castle in the realm of driads. Here Cupid wounds his heart with his arrow and Don Quixote’s love for his love-lady becomes eternal. But it’s only a dream. Sancho brings his master to reality. Gamash and Lorenzo come looking for escaping lovers - Kitri and Basil. Don Quixote puts them on the wrong track, but a simple-minded Sancho "corrects" his mistake and pursuit goes on.

Scene 4
The participants of the festivity come here. At the peak of the festivity Kitri and Basil run here: happy to hide from pursuers. Toreadors and Espada come here too, and the beautiful Mercedes devotes her temperamental dance to her Espada. The innkeeper is worried. Gamash and Lorenzo come. Friends try to hide Kitri but in vain. Lorenzo joins Kitri’s and Gamash’s hands against his daughter’s will and blesses them. Basil elbows his way through the crowd. He is in despair. The only way out for him is death. Kitri begs her father to bless their love: Basil will die all the same. Lorenzo hesitates. Don Quixote orders him to yield to Kitri’s wish. Unwillingly Lorenzo blesses Kitri’s and Basil. Basil gets up-his suicide was a prank. Friends push Gamash out of the inn. Festivity, dances go on.


Scene 5
Everything is ready for the celebration in the square of Barcelona in the honour of Kitri and Basil. Among guests are knight-errant Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza. An unknown knight appears and accuses Don Quixote of humiliated dignity. He challenges Don Quixote to a duel. Don Quixote wins and everybody recognizes Gamash in the unknown knight. The festivity starts. Don Quixote and Sancho bid farewell and set off to seek new adventures.

Schedule for Ludwig Minkus "Don Quixote" 2020

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