Ballet "Don Quixote": content, interesting facts, video, history

L. Minkus ballet "Don Quixote"

Cervantes' immortal creation is reflected in the ballet by composer Ludwig Minkus and librettist Marius Petipa. However, this is not a dramatization of the masterpiece at all, only a small part of it is used in the plot, and the main character Don Quixote is even a minor character in some way.

The summary of the ballet Minkus "Don Quixote" and a lot of interesting facts about this work read on our page.

Characters

Description

Kitriinnkeeper's daughter
Basilebarber
Don Quixoteknight of la mancha
Sancho Panzasquire Don Quixote
Gamashrich and noble nobleman
LorenzoInnkeeper, Kitri's father

Summary

The focus is on the relationship between the two heroes, Kitri and Basil, who fervently love each other. They cannot be together because of the will of the girl’s father, the innkeeper Lorenzo, who wants to marry a rich fiancé and doesn’t want to hear anything about a simple young man who works as a barber. The brave and noble knight Don Quixote takes the side of his beloved and helps them to unite their hearts.

This ballet stands out noticeably against the background of other performances; there are no sharp dramatic collisions with a bunch of intrigues, cunning and other attributes. There are no deep psychological characters with a gradual development of the image and a clear storyline. The beauty of this performance is in another, in its bright emotionality, subordinated to a single element. Sunny and cheerful dances, sparkling with their merriment, appear before the audience in the form of virtuoso Spanish and Gypsy numbers (seguidilla, chic, moraine, Zingara) in all their beauty. A special colorful atmosphere complements the bullfight with its brave bullfighters and ferocious bulls, as well as subtle comic numbers. All the action is subject to a single impulse, in which the main characters along with the audience find themselves on the Barcelona Square, flooded with bright rays.

Duration of performance
I ActAct IIAct III
50 min35 min.30 min.

A photo:

Interesting Facts:

  • Roman Cervantes repeatedly attracted the attention of talented musicians and choreographers. So, the first ballet based on his motives was written back in 1740. Franz Hilferding acted as ballet master, who chose from the novel only the love story of Kiteria and Basillo, focusing attention on it. It is curious that all subsequent versions created by other authors were also not based on the whole work, but only on the chosen line, revealing the story of the incredible love of two young people - Kitri and Basil.
  • To date, there are 13 performances, which were based on the novel by Cervantes.
  • Don Quixote is the only creation by M. Petipa, which he originally created for the Moscow troupe, and not just transferred his performance to another theater.
  • A year after the premiere in St. Petersburg, the author of the music of Minkus was called to the post of composer at the Directorate of the Imperial Theaters.
  • In 1887, the Moscow troupe again presented the performance of Petipa to the public, but it was in the second edition, which was already intended for St. Petersburg. Choreographer A. Bogdanov only significantly reduced the performance and now it consisted of three actions.
  • The famous "serpentine dance" presented in the scene of "Don Quixote Dreams", which was first used in his version of Gorsky, was borrowed from the popular dancer Loey Fuller.
  • During the final rehearsal of the play in the Gorsky edition, the unexpected happened - the performer of the role of Mercedes suddenly became unwell. She was replaced by a young Sophia Fedorova, who played the party street dancer. She was able to rehearse just a couple of minutes, but that was enough for her to perform well at the premiere. Her appearance in two different roles caused unprecedented success.

  • It is curious that Petipa did not like the version of Gorsky, and he even accused him of plagiarism. According to Marius, he used the choreography, which the choreographer used in his other productions. However, the researchers failed to prove or disprove this. This was due to the fact that the details of the first production in 1869 were not preserved.
  • Some parts of the ballet are characteristic dances, an imitation of Spanish dance styles, during the performance of which ballet dancers use shoes with heels rather than pointe shoes.
  • Since the time of the first ballet, many choreographers tried to remake the plot and put the knight in the foreground, giving the whole performance more dramatic, but nothing came of it. The prologue, which shows how a brave knight, after reading historical novels, sets off to meet adventures, is also not able to change anything. As soon as the curtain opens and there are sounds of bright divertissement, viewers forget about the plot, being carried away in a single dance impulse. It is due to this that he is recognized by critics as one of the most temperamental ballets.
  • Alexander Gorsky - the author of the most famous productions, was a real reformer of art. He advocated significant and progressive changes in ballet, criticizing excessive academicity. The ideas of I. Duncan and K. Stanislavsky greatly influenced Gorsky.
  • The youngest participant in the play was only 9 years old! Staged by Tomasson-Possokhov (Ballet of San Francisco) 2015.

Story

In 1869 Marius Petipa he planned to write a work based on the novel by M. Cervantes. He sketched a script for the future masterpiece and turned to the popular composer Ludwig Minkus with a proposal for cooperation. The choreographer himself developed the interpretation and wrote the libretto, given the previous experience of the productions on this plot.

The new work was intended for performance on the Moscow stage, namely, for the benefit performance of Anna Sobeshchanskaya. The choreographer seriously approached the work and took into account all the features and nuances of the troupe. If the St. Petersburg school focused on technicality, as well as romantic elevation, the Moscow school focused on characteristic dance. That is why the Petersburg troupe has always considered itself superior to its colleagues. Petipa took into account all these nuances and in his statement focused on folk dance. As a result, by the end of 1869 the play was completely written.

Music

The researchers note that the musical part of the work is quite simple and devoid of symphonic, skillful instrumentation. It can be safely called classical for its time, the more music is secondary, significantly giving way to a dance part.

Separate characteristics of the characters are not in the musical score. However, the composer skillfully filled it with dance, adding the rhythms of a waltz and a gallop. Minkus sought to recreate the atmosphere of Spanish flavor. As a result, only one heroine performs a classical dance - this is Dulcinea, while the others got their character.

Productions

The premiere was scheduled for mid-December 1869. The orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater was ruled by P. Luzin. Kitri was performed by A. Sobieschanskaya, Basilia - S. Sokolov.

Two years later, Petipa decided to transfer his performance to the Petersburg stage and began to rework it. The new edition was ready in 1871 and in November the premiere took place. This time the score consisted of 5 acts of 11 paintings. In this version, Kitri and Dulcinea appeared in a single image and their parts were performed by one ballerina. The public appreciated the new edition, as a result, this version of the play was permanently fixed in the repertoire.

In 1887, a ballet was again presented to the public on the Petersburg stage, only as amended by Bogdanov, who greatly reduced it. In general, the director tried to stick to the classic version.

One of the most scandalous and discussed productions belongs to A. Gorsky, who showed his work in 1900 at the Bolshoi Theater. This version caused a lot of criticism and discussion, because Gorsky destroyed the accepted forms of ballet. He introduced many innovations to this production. The choreographer himself sought to combine the realistic tendencies of the Moscow troupe and the classical ones of Petersburg. Gorsky not only changed the choreography, but also added scenes from other works of Petipa, as well as the music of other composers. After the scandalous, but successful premiere, the choreographer became one of the revolutionaries of the national ballet. Later, it was Gorsky’s version that was recognized as a classic and other directors took it as a basis.

In 1994, B. Eifman presented a completely new version of the work “Don Quixote, or the Fantasies of a Madman”. A little later, in 2009-2010, he again turned to this ballet and again reworked it, with the choreography and the plot underwent significant changes.

This ballet stands out noticeably against the background of other performances; there are no sharp dramatic collisions with a bunch of intrigues, cunning and other attributes. There are no deep psychological characters with a gradual development of the image and a clear storyline. The beauty of this performance is in another, in its bright emotionality, subordinated to a single element. Sunny and cheerful dances, sparkling with their merriment, appear before the audience in the form of virtuoso Spanish and Gypsy numbers (seguidilla, chic, moraine, Zingara) in all their beauty. A special colorful atmosphere complements the bullfight with its brave bullfighters and ferocious bulls, as well as subtle comic numbers. All the action is subject to a single impulse, in which the main characters along with the audience find themselves on the Barcelona Square, flooded with bright rays.

We are pleased to offer ballet dancers and a symphony orchestra for the performance of numbers and excerpts from the ballet "Don Quixote"at your event.

Watch the video: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker The Royal Ballet (November 2019).

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