A funny story about love and chivalry

Ballet in two acts

Libretto - Marius Petipa, based on the same name novel by Miguel de Cervantes

Music - Ludwig Minkus

Choreography - Marius Petipa, Aleksandr Gorskiy

Premiere - December 3, 1869, Moscow, Bolshoi Theatre

"Don Quixote" is the most cheerful and bright ballet about hot Spanish love! It has everything: an understandable and fascinating plot, passionate dances with a southern flavor, complex classical pas, virtuoso support, incendiary music, romance and humor, bullfighters and gypsies, in a word - a continuous holiday for viewers of all ages!

The ballet "Don Quixote", included forever in the treasury of world art, was born in Moscow. The great master of classical choreography, Marius Petipa, who traveled extensively in Spain, conceived a ballet that could embody the richness and diversity of the folklore traditions of this country.

The libretto of this ballet is based on the novel The Cunning Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha by the medieval Spanish writer Cervantes, which is considered the record holder for the number of published editions and has been translated into all European languages. The simple-hearted knight Don Quixote himself is presented as a minor character, and the love story of the barber Basil and the daughter of the innkeeper Kitri is brought to the fore. This plot has been embodied on the ballet stage more than once, but thanks to the talent of Marius Petipa and Ludwig Minkus, who composed brilliant music for the production, the ballet Don Quixote has forever entered the classics of the genre.
Our theater not only preserves all the traditional pearls of this bright and cheerful ballet, but also adds an unusual flavor to them! In our performance there are dizzying supports, a cheerful pantomime (the scene of Basil's comic suicide always makes the audience laugh), 32 fouettes and a grandiose final pas de deux, which is often performed as a separate show at various ballet competitions.

If we perform on the big stage, we invite superstars: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza ride into the city on horseback! The white horse Parus and the gray donkey Styopa take part in our performance with pleasure and are accustomed to applause.
Don Quixote is a hero of the Middle Ages, a poor farmer who devoted himself to a non-existent "ideal": chivalry and the beautiful Dulcinea. Everybody understand this and treat him condescendingly. After all, each of us so wants to be in this clear and beautiful world of dreams at least for a second.
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza begin their knightly adventures and end up in a town where they help young lovers. The father, the owner of the tavern, wants to marry his daughter Kitri to the rich nobleman Gamache but she prefers the barber Basil. Don Quixote confused Kitri with Dulcinea, but then he realized his mistake and demanded a blessing from the tavern owner for two loving hearts. Kitri and Basil get married and Don Quixote and Sancho Panza leave for new adventures.

Don Quixote, having read chivalric novels, decides to go on a journey to glorify the name of the beautiful Dulcinea, whom he chooses as "the Lady of his heart", with loud deeds. He appoints his servant Sancho Panza as a squire. Sancho is sober man, not inclined to dreams.
Full text
Act 1

People are having fun in the square of the Spanish town near Lorenzo's tavern. His daughter Kitri is flirting with the barber Basil, who is in love with her. Lorenzo, finding them together, drives Basil away. He is not pleased with the poor groom, he wants to marry his daughter to the rich nobleman Gamache.

The crowd cheers a beautiful street dancer and bullfighter Espada. General surprise is caused by the appearance of the knight Don Quixote with his squire. Don Quixote sees Lorenzo and thinks that this is the owner of the knight's castle, he respectfully greets him. The owner of the tavern treats him the same way and invites him to the table. The girls surround the fat man Sancho and make fun of him. Don Quixote sees Kitri and takes her for the beautiful Dulcinea.

Don Quixote falls asleep. Now he is in a fantastic garden where he sees Dulcinea, "the lady of his heart", surrounded by dryads and cupids. Sancho finds his master and wakes him up. Here is a gypsy dancing. Meanwhile, the fun continues in the square, but Kitri is no longer there, she run away with Basil. Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote are looking for her.

Act II

Young people are having fun and dancing in the tavern. Among them are Kitri and Basil. Here they are found by Lorenzo, Gamache and Don Quixote. Lorenzo wants to immediately announce Kitri's engagement to Gamache. But, at the persuasion of Kitri, Basil plays the scene of suicide. Kitri weeps over her lover's body. Don Quixote, in noble indignation, reproaches Lorenzo for hardness of heart and, threatening him with a weapon, forces him to agree to the marriage of his daughter with the "dead" barber. Basil jumps up, he no longer needs to pretend to be dead.

Wedding fun takes place in the city square. Citizens, young and old, have fun and dance, competing with each other in dexterity and beauty. The culprits of the holiday - bride and groom Kitri and Basil, dance their dance, full of grace, charm and love. Having wished the newlyweds happiness, Don Quixote and Sancho say goodbye to all the heroes and set off on new exploits.