Return of the Don at Penn­syl­va­nia Ballet

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Mayara Pineiro (as Kitri) and Etienne Diaz (as Basilio) in 'Don Quixote.' (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev)
Mayara Pineiro (as Kitri) and Etienne Diaz (as Basilio) in 'Don Quixote.' (Photo by Alexander Iziliaev)

Pennsylvania Ballet’s new season begins with Don Quixote, the classic, full-length comic ballet. Artistic Director Angel Corella has re-staged the work, which has special meaning as the first piece he staged with the company. It is an exciting time for Corella, who recently was named an honoree of the 2019 Dance Magazine Award, as well as a unique opportunity for dance lovers. Whether or not you have seen the ballet before, Don Quixote features a familiar story with a famous title character.

These are drawn from the novel of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes, which was originally published during Spain’s seventeenth-century Golden Age. Don Quixote made important contributions to Spanish literature as well as the Western literary canon. It appears on many “best-of” lists and inspired writers including Mark Twain, the American great.

Impractical romancing

Perhaps you know the story from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, or the 1972 film adaptation: a minor nobleman reads a lot of books about knights and decides to become one. He renames himself Don Quixote and, together with his neighbor Sancho Panza, undertakes an unusual quest, defending a lady’s honor and attacking windmills along the way. The word quixotic, an adjective to describe romantic impracticalities, comes from this character.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s Don Quixote aims to capture the humor and romance of Cervantes’s book. It also offers lively Spanish-style dancing and the energetic music of Ludwig Minkus. Together with Corella’s re-staging of the classic choreography of Marius Petipa, which was first presented by the Bolshoi Ballet in 1869, this production promises to entertain audiences of all ages.

What, When, Where

Don Quixote will be performed October 10-20 at the Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street. For more information, visit online or call (215) 893-1999.

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