HomeProductionsBalletsDon QuixoteAbout the Ballet

About the Ballet

The world premiere: The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, December 14, 1869
The first staging in The Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre: February, 1933
This production premiered: November 17, 2012

Published in1605, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is considered one of the greatest works of fiction, “the best literary work ever written”. The novel has served as a thematic source for quite a number of works in cinema, painting, theatre, musical, etc.

The two chapters of the novel that the ballet is mostly based on were first adapted for the ballet in 1740 by Franz HILVERDING inVienna, Austria. The audience has seen lots of ballet versions of the knight-errant theme for 200 years, mounted by such great ballet masters as Louis MILON, Charles-Louis DIDELOT, August BOURNONVILLE, Serge LIFAR, George BALANCHINE.

Marius PETIPA’s interpretation is considered to be academic. Working over the libretto for the production he used the chapters of the novel dedicated to the wedding of Kittery and Camacho (the got names of Kitri and Basilio in the ballet libretto). The main characters of the novel Don Quichote and Sancha Panza became secondary characters in the ballet.

Marius PETIPA ordered the music score to the ballet composer Ludwig MINKUS who was professional in the ballet theatre and followed the ballet music requirements in his work.

The world premiere of Don Quixote took place in The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on December 14, 1869. The composer himself conducted the first performance. The production had great acclaim and was transferred to St. Petersburg later.

Marius PETIPA’s choreographic version grabbed attention of many ballet masters. However, Alexander GORSKY’s interpretation is considered the most successful. All later versions were based on GORSKY’s choreographic vision.

Odessa first saw the ballet Don Quixote in February, 1933 in the Paul VIRSKY and Nikolai BOLOTOV’s production. Three years late Michael MOISEEV put up his version of the ballet and it had a long stage life. In 1952 Vakhtang VRONSKY revived the production basing on the best academic dance traditions of PETIPA and GORSKY. Further productions comprised stylistic peculiarities and choreographic means by such ballet masters as Nikolay TREGUBOV (1966), Igor CHERNYSHOV (1970), Victor SMIRNOV-GOLOVANOV and Natalia RYZHENKO (1979).

The principal dancers starring in Don Quixote in different years were Valentina GRISHUKOVA, Vera VOLKOVA, Elvira KARAVAYEVA, Sabbira YAPPAROVA,Valery MIKHAYLOVSKY, Victor NOVITSKY.

During the years of the theatre reconstruction (1996 – 2007) the performance was not on stage. Today The Company is welcoming this choreographic masterpiece back on stage.


    October, 2016