Don Quixote

Choreographer: Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky

Music: Ludwig Minkus

Costumes and Set Design: Santo Loquasto

Lighting: Natasha Katz (1998); Alexander Nichols (2003, 2007)

World Premiere: Imperial Russian Ballet, December 14, 1869

PBT Performance Dates: May 1998, February 2003, October 2007

Synopsis (from PBT playbill, 2007)


Driven by the vision of Dulcinea the ideal woman, the tarnished (yet inspired) Don Quixote begins his adventure with his trusty squire Sancho Panza, in tow.

Act I - Sevilla

Kitri, Lorenzo’s daughter, is in love with Basilio.  Much to her chagrin, she learns of her father’s plan to marry her to Gamache, a foppish nobleman.  Don Quixote and Sancho Panza enter the village, causing great commotion.  Noticing Kitri, Don Quixote wonders if he has, at last, found his Dulcinea.  At the height of merriment, Kitri and Basilio, aided by their friends, Espada and Mercedes, sneak off followed by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.  Gamache and Lorenzo attempt to pursue the young people.

Act II Scene I - Gypsy Camp

The fleeing couple is discovered in a friendly gypsy camp by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.  All are inspired by the romance of the night.  As the vision of Dulcinea appears to him, Don Quixote realizes Kitri is not his ideal, but belongs with Basilio.  Suddenly, the wind gains momentum.  Don Quixote foolishly attacks a windmill, believing it to be a giant threatening Dulcinea’s safety.  Failing miserably, he collapses into a deep sleep.

Act II Scene II - The Dream

Don Quixote has an enchanted dream of beautiful maidens in which the image of Kitri symbolizes his Dulcinea.

Act II Scene III - Sunrise

Lorenzo and Gamache interrupt Don Quixote’s dream.  Sympathetic to the plight of the young lovers, Don Quixote attempts to lead the two astray.


Act II Scene IV - In the Tavern

Finally discovered, Kitri is forced by Lorenzo to accept the attentions of Gamache.  The thwarted Basilio commits “suicide”.  Upon learning of the farce, Kitri implores Don Quixote to persuade Lorenzo to wed her to the “corpse”.  Instantly Basilio comes to “life”!  Triumphantly, Kitri leaves to prepare for marriage while Don Quixote and Basilio salute Lorenzo and Gamache for stoically accepting the inevitable.

Act III Scene I - The Wedding

The village celebrates the marriage.  Don Quixote congratulates the couple, bids them warm farewell and resumes his everlasting adventures.