But most of all, Don Quixote dreams of his beloved Dulcinea, a woman that he believes to be so lovely and noble that she must be divinity, and dreams of their romantic adventures.

When Don Quixote notices Kitri, the inn-keeper’s daughter, he acclaims her as his Dulcinea, whom evil magicians have reduced to human form.

Don Quixote was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus, and was first presented by the Ballet of the Imperial Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow on 26 (or 14) December 1869.

The Ballet lived on in Russia well after the Revolution of 1917 and became part of the permanent repertoire both of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre and the Leningrad Kirov Theatre.

The famous Grand Pas de Deux from the ballet’s final scene was staged in the West as early as the 1940’s, given first by the Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo.

Today the ballet has been staged by many companies all over the world in many different versions, and this is an opportunity for ballet lovers to see Don Quixote which has all the elements of the great classical ballets: emotion, drama and vivid characters, performed by a an established and long standing Russian theatre.

He is then confronted to a lot of unexpected situations, tricks and challenge duels. Seeing the moon he takes it for his Dulcinea and tries to get 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 he is caught by one of the wings and flung into the air. He falls unconscious at his ever-faithful servant Sancho Panza’s feet.



Minkus was born in Vienna on 23 March 1826.

By the age of four he began to receive private violin lessons and from 1838 to 1842 continued his musical studies at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Soon the young Minkus was appearing in various concert halls as a soloist, having been declared a child prodigy by the public and critics.

Minkus began composing for his instrument while he was still a student. Five pieces for the violin were published in 1846. At this time he began to try his hand at conducting.

His first experience in ballet was as assistant to Edouard Deldevez in 1846, working on ‘Paquita’ in Paris.

In 1853 he went to Russia as the conductor of Prince N.B. Yussupov’s serf orchestra in St Petersburg and was a soloist in the Moscow Bolshoi Orchestra from 1861 to 1872.

In 1870, he was appointed official composer of ballet music to the Imperial Theatre in St Petersburg and went on to enjoy a rich creative relationship with Petipa.

Don Quixote


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