Of Windmills and Barbers in Love. On June 24, The Bavarian State Ballet celebrates the revival of "Don Quijote"

Twenty years ago marked the première of Don Quijote, the first new production of a classic by the newly formed Bavarian State Ballet. Ray Barra's version of Marius Petipa's ballet classic, world-premièred in 1896, is a much celebrated highlight of the Munich repertoire to this day, and will be revived at the Prinzregententheater after an eight-year pause.

Barra provided a second outstanding role for a ballerina through the accentuation on Dulcinea beside Kitri, and with the brilliant-humorous delineation of the Knight of the Woeful Countenance and his servant Sancho Panza, he affectionately expanded the classic original. Composer Ludwig Minkus collaborated with Marius Petipa on the scores for a series of great works, including La Bayadère, Paquita and Don Quijote. He ranks beside Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky as one of the most creative musical minds to create Russian ballet music.

The ballet Don Quijote concentrates on an episode in the second part of Cervantes's novel, which tells the love story of the Barber Basilio and the innkeeper's daughter Kitri. On the insistence of her father, Kitri is to marry the wealthy Gamacho, but she loves the penniless barber Basilio. With wit and finesse (as well as a little help from Don Quijote) the two lovers finally get their way – the way that leads to the altar.

While the first part whisks us away to a gaudily colored dance panorama sparkling with the high spirits and Latin temperament of a Spanish marketplace, Don Quijote's dream world, one of the legendary dance scenes, which peaks in the solo variations for Quijote's unattainable idol, Dulcinea, represents a striking contrast to the bustling activity of the opening sequence. The glorious wedding of Kitri and Basilio forms the climax and conclusion of this "breathtaking celebration of dance".

At the revival on June 24 and the afternoon performance on June 26, Ekaterina Krysanova from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow will be on stage as Kitri. Her partner is Lukáš Slavický, who will be dancing the role of Basilio for the first time in Munich. On June 25, Ivy Amista and Karen Azatyan will be making their débuts as Kitri and Basilio, dancing again in the evening performance on June 26.

Marius Petipa/Ray Barra/Ludwig Minkus
Don Quijote
Friday, June 24, 2011, 7.30 pm  revival
Saturday, June 25, 2011, 7.30 pm
Sunday, June 26, 2011, 3.00 pm* and 7.30 pm
  * Performance for families and Young Audience

For press tickets and further information - please contact the press office of the Bavarian State Ballet.

Lisa-Maree Cullum Foto: Charles Tandy