MUSIC: Ludwig Minkus.
CHOREOGRAPHY : Marius Petipa.
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY: Miguel de Cervantes.
RELATED ARTICLE: Un Don Quijote Completo.
BALLET IN THREE ACTS
A market-place in Barcelona
Kitri, an inn-keeper’s daughter, steals out of her house to meet her beloved, the barber Basilio. Her father, Lorenzo, sees the lovers and sends Basilio away, bringing Kitri to tears. Now comes the rich nobleman Gamache, who, likewise in love with Kitri, goes to Lorenzo and asks for his daughter’s hand. The innkeeper accepts with delight but Kitri, appalled at the thought of wedding the foppish nobleman, runs away.
Dancing begins in the square and some toreadors try to kidnap the girls they fancy, but their relatives and lovers hasten to their aid. At this moment Don Quixote arrives mounted on Rocinante, followed by Sancho, who is riding a donkey. At his master’s command Sancho sounds his rusted horn, causing the townspeople to cover their ears. Lorenzo runs out of his inn, and Don Quixote, taking him for the lord of a famous castle, dismounts Rocinante and, falling to his knees, begs to be allowed to serve him. Charmed, Lorenzo invites the knight to sit on his balcony. Sancho remains in the square where he is surrounded by girls who induce him to take part in a game of blind man’s bluff. Then some boys bring in a blanket on which they place Sancho and proceed to toss him into the air. Don Quixote hurries to his assistance and sets him free.
Peasants gather in the square and dancing resumes. Kitri returns and, noticing her, Don Quixote acclaims her as his Dulcinea, whom evil magicians have reduced to human form. Becoming jealous of her affection for Basilio, Don Quixote attempts to woo her by partnering her in a minuet. Lorenzo berates Kitri for carrying on with Basilio. Kitri and Basilio then run away, and Lorenzo and Gamache follow them. Don Quixote orders Sancho to bring Rocinante, so that he may also set out in pursuit.
THE ROYAL BALLET
Scene 1 – A camp of gypsies among the windmills outside the village
Kitri disguised as a boy is seen walking with Harlequin from a troupe of travelling actors. They guess she is a girl and ask her to stay with them.
Scene 2 – The Puppet Theatre
A clown is seen walking with Graziosa, the gypsy chief’s daughter. A gypsy tells the chief of the approach of Don Quixote. The chief plans a trick for his benefit and, putting on a mantle crown, sits down as though he were a king on a throne. Don Quixote is deceived and kneels to the chief in homage. The chief bids that he sit beside him and orders a festival to be given in his honor. This begins with Gypsy dances and is followed by a performance of the marionette theatre. Don Quixote is delighted with the entertainment but, mistaking the heroine for his Dulcinea and the marionettes for soldiers attacking her, he rises to assault them. The gypsies are terrified. At this moment the clown and Graziosa run away.
Scene 3 – The Windmills
Flushed with victory, the knight kneels and renders thanks to heaven. Seeing the moon, he takes it for his Dulcinea and tries to get to her. As he approaches the windmills he can see the moon no longer and thinks that evil magicians have hidden his beloved mistress. So, spear in hand, he tilts at the wings of the windmill, which he mistakes for a giant. Alas, the knight is caught by one of the wings and flung into the air. He falls unconscious at Sancho’s feet.
Scene 4 – A forest
Through the trees appears Sancho leading Rocinante, upon which sits the wounded Don Quixote. The servant lifts his master down and places him on the grass, so that he may rest. Then, tying up the horse, he goes to sleep. Don Quixote also tries to sleep, but is troubled by fantastic dreams.
Scene 5 – The enchanted Garden of Dulcinea
Fairies appear surrounded by gnomes and Don Quixote finds himself dressed in shining armor. Then comes a succession of fearsome monsters, the last being a gigantic spider, who spins a web. The knight attacks the spider, which he slashes in half with his sword. At that same moment the spider’s web vanishes to reveal a beautiful garden, filled with dryads and beautiful women, presided over by the Queen of the Dryads and Amor. Among them is Dulcinea and Don Quixote kneels before his beloved. At this moment everything vanishes.
Back at the square, Kitri and Basilio join those who are dancing. At the height of the merriment, Lorenzo and Gamache arrive, followed by Don Quixote and Sancho. Seeing his daughter, Lorenzo decides to give his blessing to her union with the nobleman Gamache. Basilio becomes annoyed and, reproaching Kitri for her unfaithfulness, draws a sword and stabs himself. As he lies dying he begs Lorenzo to unite him with Kitri, but Lorenzo and Gamache refuse. Don Quixote approaches Gamache and challenges him to a duel for having refused a dying man’s wish. Gamache declines to fight and the merrymakers drive him out of the inn. Taking pity, Lorenzo agrees to unite Basilio and Kitri. At this moment, Basilio pulls out the sword and tells everyone it was a joke.
AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE