Don Quichot at the Dutch National Ballet
The Dutch National Ballet presents Don Quichot, transporting you from the Dutch winter to Spanish folkloric fantasy, set in the dry desert-like plains of La Mancha.
The award-winning Russian-American choreographer Alexei Ratmansky brings his genius to the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam, having already choreographed ballets for such prestigious ballet companies as the Mariinsky Theatre, The New York City Ballet, American Ballet Company, Ballet de l’Opera National de Paris and the San Francisco Ballet.
The ballet was originally created by Marius Petipa during the twilight of imperial Russia, set to the music of the Russian Jewish composer Ludwig Minkus and based around scenes of the bizarre but prized literary masterpiece Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
Three-hour ballet extravaganza
The lavish sets and brightly-coloured costumes have turned heads all over the world. The production has garnered acclaim internationally, from Europe to Asia, the USA and beyond. Alexei Ratmansky devised this version especially for the Dutch National Ballet, the first ever full-length Don Quichot performed in the Netherlands.
This ballet not for the faint-hearted: Don Quichot lasts almost three hours, though there will be two intervals.
Fighting windmills in a folkloric fantasy
This offbeat story describes a middle-aged nobleman, Don Quichot, who loses his mind and sees the world in his own idealised version, similar to what he has read in books about knights in shining armour. With his servant Sancho Panza, he sets out to right wrongs and fight against windmills, believing them to be dangerous giants.
Cervantes actually wrote the tale during the Eighty Years’ War or the Dutch War of Independence, a revolt by the Habsburg Netherlands to end Spanish rule, which may have something to do with the windmill references.