Directed by Alicia Alonso, Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Don Quixote takes stage at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier from May 4 to 7. Presented by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, this delightful performance is filled with colours, lyricism, movement and grace. I was invited to the Grande Première last Thursday by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed by the entire show. I have to say that Don Quixote is one of the most wonderful ballet I have seen in my life!
Based on Cervantes’ hero, Don Quixote present the romantic intrigues that face the famous knight and his squire Sancho. Composed of 3 acts, this ballet tells the story of Kitri, daughter of Lorenzo, who wish to marry her neighbour barber Basilio. Her father refuses due to Basilio’s lack of fortune and desires her to marry instead Camacho, a rich nobleman. Upon seeing Kitri, Don Quixote believes his has found his beloved Dulcinea. He helps and arranges for the escape of the two young lovers. After a wild night of adventures, fights, turnarounds and celebrations, Don Quixote helps Kitri and Basilio have their dream come true and blesses their union.
Don Quixote is a beautiful story of truth, justice and the victory of Love. As the original story is rooted in Hispano-Cuban culture, Alicia Alonso insisted on presenting authentic Spanish dances. Her ballet features powerful, graceful and sensual techniques wonderfully executed by the Cuban dancers. The decor as well as the costumes were beautiful; very colourful and of great detail, they perfectly complemented the dancers’ performance to bring us to the enchanting world of Don Quixote.
The dancers were spectacular. Each movement was perfectly outlined with strength while always being elegant. My favourites scenes were when the Andalusians Espada and Mercedes were dancing, and of course, at the end when Kitri and Basilio performed their solos. The dancers were all incredibly talented, energetic and they were themselves the story and the entire cult that surrounds Don Quixote.
The ballet ended with a standing ovation and with the presence of Alicia Alonso herself. I cannot recommend you this ballet enough. It is a wonderful show that I am incredibly happy to have been invited to! If you get the chance to see Don Quixote presented by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, you have to see it as you will not regret it.
Photo credits: Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal & Ballet Nacional de Cuba