Musée virtuel

Musée virtuel

Don Quichotte

À propos du ballet

The ballet Don Quixote is based on the celebrated epic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. The production deals with the adventures and misadventures of the rusty old knight, Don Quixote, and his faithful servant, Sancho Panza, as well as the romance between two young lovers Kitri and Basilio. More specifically, the ballet deals with every man’s search for the ideal. The first known use of the story’s theme for ballet was in the 1750s by the choreographer Jean Georges Noverre in Vienna. The version of the ballet that has been passed down to us today was created by Marius Petipa, the French choreographer who is known as the father of classical ballet. Petipa’s production of Don Quixote was first performed at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia, on 14 décembre, 1869. Petipa’s original choreography is now virtually lost since his production was generally replaced by a new one choreographed by Alexandre Gorsky in the early 20th century. Though a few variations and dances have been reworked by Russian choreographers, it is basically Gorsky’s version that is presented today.

George Balanchine, the prolific choreographer and founder of the New York City Ballet, is known for his innovative interpretation of the narrative. While Russian productions relegate Don Quixote to an amiable old fool, Balanchine placed him at the centre of the story and commissioned a new score from Nicolas Nabokov. Despite the fact Balanchine’s Don Quixote premiered in 1965 it has only been performed by three companies, New York City Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and The National Ballet of Canada.

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Ballet Notes

Get more insight into the production - Ballet Notes are detailed guides to the company's dynamic repertoire. Read the synopsis and articles and view more photos in the Don Quixote Ballet Notes.

Read the 2011 Ballet Notes

Production Chronology

Pas de Deux from Don Quixote 
Premiere Date: 10 décembre 1951
Chorégraphie : Marius Petipa
Musique : Ludwig Minkus

Pas de Deux from Don Quixote 
Premiere Date: 17 octobre 1963
Chorégraphie : after Marius Pepita, staged by Svetlana Beriosova
Musique : Ludwig Minkus
Conception des costumes : Mark Negin
Conception de l’éclairage : Wallace Russell

Pas de Deux from Don Quixote 
Premiere Date: 15 janvier 1964
Chorégraphie : after Eugen Valukin, staged by Galina Samtsova
Musique : Ludwig Minkus
Conception des costumes : Mark Negin

Don Quichotte 
Premiere Date: 10 novembre 1982
Chorégraphie : Nicolas Beriozoff, after Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky
Musique : Ludwig Minkus, orchestrated and adapted by John Lanchbery
Conception de la scène et des costumes : Emanuele Luzzati
Conception de l’éclairage : Sholem Dolgoy

This production was made possible by a gift from the Build-A-BalletTM Fund, THE VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE, THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA 

Don Quichotte
Premiere Date: 6 novembre 1985
Chorégraphie : Nicolas Beriozoff, after Marius Petipa and Alexandre Gorky
Musique : Ludwig Minkus, orchestrated and adapted by John Lanchbery
Conception de la scène et des costumes : Desmond Heeley
Conception de l’éclairage : Robert Thomson

The original production of Don Quixote is a gift from the Build-A-BalletTM Fund, THE VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE, THE NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA. The new production of Don Quixote has been made possible in part by special gifts from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Gulf Canada Limited, Kodak Canada Limited, The Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council, as well as contributions from many individual donors. 

Balanchine’s Don Quixote 
Premiere Date: 15 juin 2007 
Chorégraphie : George Balanchine, staged by Suzanne Farrell
Musique : Nicolas Nabokov
Conception de la scène : Zack Brown
Conception des costumes : Holly Hynes
Conception de l’éclairage : Brad Fields

Balanchine’s Don Quixote is a gift from Roger and Kevin Garland. Produced in association with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company. 

Crédits photographiques de l’image principale : The National Ballet of Canada tutus on display. Photo by Setareh Sarmadi.

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