Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre presents “Don Quixote” with orchestra

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2013-2014 Season Finale Features Festive, Grand-scale Classic April 11-13, at the Benedum

PITTSBURGH, PA – A ballet for the adventurous and imaginative, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre concludes its 2013-2014 Season with the daring “Don Quixote,” presented with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Orchestra April 11-13, at the Benedum Center.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s production of “Don Quixote,” staged by PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr, features elaborate sets, bold costumes and classical choreography with a Spanish flair. Inspired by the literary classic, “Don Quixote” has mesmerized audiences with complex choreography, balletic bravado and virtuoso variations for more than a century.

WATCH/LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant’s interview with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Terrence S. Orr

“Don Quixote” premiered in 1869 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow with choreography by Marius Petipa, considered the “father of classical ballet.” This production was later restaged by Alexander Gorsky, and the resulting Petipa/Gorsky version has endured today. The intricate footwork and bravura performances of “Don Quixote” showcase the technique, artistry and athleticism of PBT dancers. At the height of its virtuosic variations, the show-stopping grand pas de deux of the wedding scene is considered to be one of the most technically-demanding sequences in classical ballet. Set to one of Ludwig Minkus’ most masterful ballet scores, the vibrancy of the production comes to life through charismatic characters, comedic touches and tour de force dancing.

“’Don Quixote’ features some of the most exciting dancing in classical ballet,” said PBT Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr.  “This is a rich and festive production that brings together themes of love, hope and adventure and, throughout, keeps the virtuosic choreography front and center.”

The novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes was published in two installments in 1605 and 1615. The story follows the extravagant Spanish nobleman Alonso Quixana as he seeks adventure under the pseudonym Don Quixote. Along with his sidekick Sancho Panza, Don Quixote bravely sets out to revive chivalry. The novel has long been considered a classic because of its comedic approach to themes of courage, idealism and deception. The ballet portrays episodes of this classic novel.

Danced in three acts, “Don Quixote” tells the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as they set out to find Dulcinea, Don Quixote’s version of the ideal woman. In a village, they encounter Kitri, the daughter of Lorenzo. In the midst of the excitement surrounding Don Quixote’s visit, Kitri runs away with her lover, Basilio, to escape an arranged marriage to the vain nobleman Gamache. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza follow, believing that Kitri is Don Quixote’s Dulcinea. When they find the lovers, however, Don Quixote realizes that Kitri belongs with Basilio. In one of the ballet’s most famous scenes, Don Quixote foolishly attacks a windmill he thinks is endangering his Dulcinea. Lorenzo and Gamache eventually catch up with the runaways and try to force Kitri to marry Gamache. Basilio, her true love, pretends to commit suicide, and Kitri cleverly convinces her father to allow her to wed her lover’s “corpse.”

Lorenzo finally gives in to his daughter’s wishes, and at once Basilio “comes back to life.” Lorenzo and Gamache reluctantly accept Kitri’s choice, and Kitri and Basilio are happily married at the ballet’s conclusion. Don Quixote congratulates the happy couple and continues his lifelong quest for honor and adventure.

start at $25.75, and can be purchased online at www.pbt.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

Show Times:

·         Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m.

·         Saturday, April 12, at 2 p.m.

·         Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m.

·         Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m.

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