Mikhail Baryshnikov as Basil, Cynthia Harvey as Kitri, in the 1986 version by the American Ballet Theater. The most famous variation from the ballet - the Wedding Pas de Deux
Don Quixote is a famous ballet based a portion of the famous, epic masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes, about an aging nobleman who sets out on imaginary adventures to find the lady of his dreams, Dulcinea.
As the ballet begins, Don Quixote, an aging nobleman, is reading stories of brave knights, fabulous giants and other fantastical creatures. Gradually he nods and falls asleep to dream of their romantic adventures. Appearing a little silly, he uses his imagination and pretends to be a brave night. He imagines that he sets out to rescue the lady of his dreams, named Dulcinea. He transforms his servant, Sancho Panza, into a trusty squire and off they go.
Don Quixote leads a charge against imaginary enemies, which he sees everywhere. He proceeds to fight invisible rivals, puppets, and windmills.
Don Quixote Trivia
- Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and composed by Ludwig Minkus
- First performed in Moscow, Russia by the Imperial Bolshoi Theater in 1869
- All modern versions of the ballet are performed are derived from the version staged by Alexander Gorsky for the Bolshoi Theater of Moscow in 1900
- Don Quixote is usually played by an older dancer, and even though Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are main characters, they appear very little in the ballet
- The ballet's best dance is a wonderful wedding pas de deux, performed by young lovers Kitri and Basilio
© Damir Yusupov Svetlana Zakharova
References: about.com, wikipedia.org