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Season OpenerNureyev's Don Quixote


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 05:46 AM

For Immediate Release

July 22, 2003
Boston Ballet Presents The Return of Rudolf Nureyev's Ballet Don Quixote
October 16-19 and October 30- November 2

WHAT: Boston Ballet's Don Quixote

WHEN: Thursday Oct. 16 @ 7p.m., Friday Oct. 17 @ 8p.m., Sat. Oct. 18 @ 2p.m.
& 8p.m., Sunday Oct.19 @ 2p.m., Thurs. Oct. 30 @ 7p.m., Friday Oct. 31 @
8p.m., Sat. Nov. 1 @ 2p.m. & 8p.m., Sunday Nov. 2 @ 2p.m.

WHERE: All performances at The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston

TICKETS: available by phone through Telecharge at 800-447-7400, online at
www.telecharge.com, or in person at The Wang Theatre Box Office


(BOSTON, MA)- Boston Ballet's 40th Anniversary Season will open this fall
with the return of Rudolf Nureyev's celebrated production, Don Quixote, at
The Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. The original sets and
costumes have been fully refurbished for this exciting production, made
possible by a grant from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.

"Nureyev's exuberant Don Quixote is perhaps the most significant work in
Boston Ballet's history, because this ballet first brought international
attention to the Company," said Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko
Nissinen. "It is charged with the quest for noble idealism, with bravura
dancing that has thrilled audiences here and around the world. Boston
Ballet has not performed this version since 1986, and we are especially
pleased to bring it back for our 40th Anniversary Season. This year will
also mark the 10th anniversary of the Nureyev's death."

This recreation of Miguel de Cervantes'17th century classic tale is staged
by Aleth Francillon, after choreography by Marius Petipa, set to the music
of Ludwig Minkus with score arrangement by John Lanchberry, lighting by
Pierre Lavoie, and scenery and costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis.

This full-length, three-act ballet is set in the heart of the Spanish
countryside, featuring chivalry, passion, and comical adventure. It is a
warm human tale with likeable characters like Alonso Quejana, an ordinary
Spanish country gentleman, who is in search of an idealistic, moral world.
He is an elderly and slightly delusional Spaniard, who, sitting amidst his
books of knights, squires and beautiful women, dreams of the fair lady,
Dulcinea. Declaring himself a knight by the name of Don Quixote de La
Mancha, he believes that he must save his fictional lady from peril, and
sets off on his adventures in search of the Dulcinea, with the aid of his
comical squire, Sancho Panza. As the Don approaches an inn in Barcelona
square, he assumes it is a grand castle, and the innkeepers daughter, Kitri,
to be his beloved Dulcinea, unbeknownst to Kitri. Kitri is in love with the
young barber, Basilio, but, her parent's are determined for her to marry the
nobleman, Gamache, despite her wishes. This intricate storyline is humorous
with silly twists and turns, and complete with some of the most technically
challenging roles in ballet repertoire, including the beautiful wedding pas
de deux, danced by Kitri and Basilio.

Choreographer Marius Petipa originally created Don Quixote for Moscow's
Bolshoi Ballet in 1869, and was first presented in the United States by the
Bolshoi Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, in 1966. Don
Quixote has significant history in Boston. Boston's first, "Don Q" was the
Rudolf Nureyev version which premiered in 1982 and received critical
acclaim. Nureyev not only choreographed the production, but he also starred
in it as Basilio. A 1972 film of Nureyev's Don Quixote was made with the
Australian Ballet, in which he starred and co-directed with Sir Robert
Helpmann.

In George Balanchine's and Frances Mason's 101 Stories of the Great Ballets,
Balanchine describes Don Quixote: "Every man has a Don Quixote in him.
Every man wants an inspiration. For the Don it was Dulcinea, a woman he
sought in many guises. I myself think that the same is true in life, that
everything a man does he does for his ideal woman. You live only one life
and you believe in something and I believe in that."

A Fond Farewell
Cherished by Boston audiences for almost 14 years, Principal Dancer Jennifer
Gelfand will dance her farewell performance during Don Quixote. Gelfand made
headlines in 1989 when she filled in for former Principal Dancer Laura
Young, the female lead, who fell injured on the stage during the first act.
Gelfand, recently accepted to the Joffrey Ballet, was in Boston as a special
guest artist, and was sitting in The Wang Theatre audience. She was asked to
finish the ballet in place of Young. Then Artistic Director, Bruce Marks,
was so impressed with her performance, that he offered Gelfand a soloist
position in the Company. *Gelfand's performance dates will be announced in
early October.


# # #

Tickets for Don Quixote go on sale September 4. Prices range from $38-$95.
Tickets can be purchased by calling Telecharge at 800-447-7400, or by
visiting Telecharge online at www.telecharge.com, or in person at The Wang
Theatre box office, located at 270 Tremont Street in Boston's Theatre
District. The Wang Theatre box office is open Monday-Saturday from 10a.m.-6
p.m. Discounted group tickets (15 or more) are available by calling Boston
Ballet's Group Sales Office at 617-456-6343. Student rush tickets are
available for $15. Full time students, 30 yrs. old and under; purchased 2
hours before curtain (cash preferred) in person at The Wang Theatre box
office on the day of a performance. Student identification must be presented
at time of purchase, limit one per student I.D.

#2 koshka

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 10:48 AM

I love any and all DonQ performances. IMO it is really a perfect ballet for kids--in some ways much better than the Nutcracker.

Does anyone know
--How this DonQ is different from/similar to other productions?
In particular, it seems to me that BB has done DonQ in the past 5 years or so, but from the wording of the press release, they have not done the Nureyev DonQ since 1986.

--Who will be dancing Kitri? (A role tailor-made for Polyana Ribeiro IMO)

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 10:57 AM

I'm sure they did Don Q in the early 90's -- they brought it to the Kennedy Center. March of '93, I THINK. That was Holmes' production, but, as I remember it, it was very close to the Nureyev production, which is close to the Kirov one. (There's a video of Nureyev in his production for the Australian ballet, but it's filmed like a movie, not a stage performance, so there are things in it that you won't see on stage.)

It is a great ballet for kids, koshka. Several friends of mine with sons chose that as a first ballet for small boys and it was a big success.

I'm not privy to the casting, but no harm in posting one's favorite candidates :innocent: I hope you'll go and tell us about it. (Although October seems far away now.)

One thing I noted when doing the season's calendar is that the company will do a few performance of Don Q, then another program (a triple bill, I think, but that's from memory) and then another few performances of Don Q -- a good idea, I think. It will give the dancers more time, more chances, at the ballet, and also, from a box office point of view, it will give word of mouth some time to make the rounds. Often, when a ballet is done four times, and the review doesn't come out until the morning of the third performance, and there isn't enough time for friends to call friends, then the ballet is gone before people know it's there. This kind of split-scheduling is a good solution to that.

#4 koshka

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 07:00 PM

Thanks for the info.
I still have a season subscription to Boston Ballet after being in DC nearly 9 years, so I will be going.

The new schedule is apparently the result of budget cuts. It is rather inconvenient for those of us coming from afar, but it might be better for the production and the dancers.

About DonQ for kids: in Russia/former Soviet Union, DonQ seems to be _the_ ballet for kids--it was on the matinee program at the Kirov / Mariinsky this fall, and I once attended a weekday kiddie matinee of it (hundres of schoolkids and...me) in Moldova. The latter was extra-hammy and especially entertaining.
The exception would be the Eifman version, whose asylum scenes could be scary to kids.

#5 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 04:06 AM

"Cherished by Boston audiences for almost 14 years, Principal Dancer Jennifer
Gelfand will dance her farewell performance during Don Quixote. Gelfand made
headlines in 1989 when she filled in for former Principal Dancer Laura
Young, the female lead, who fell injured on the stage during the first act.
Gelfand, recently accepted to the Joffrey Ballet, was in Boston as a special
guest artist, and was sitting in The Wang Theatre audience. She was asked to
finish the ballet in place of Young. Then Artistic Director, Bruce Marks,
was so impressed with her performance, that he offered Gelfand a soloist
position in the Company. *Gelfand's performance dates will be announced in
early October. "

Actually the Publicity people haven't quite got it right. Jennifer had already been dancing with the Joffrey company. She made her first appearances with the Boston Ballet in March of 1989 as a special guest for the company's 25th anniversary gala, dancing the Don Quixote Pas de Deux with Daniel Meja, who had just joined the company in January. The full length Don Quixote was being done in May of 1989, and she and Daniel were one of the casts, and it is for that reason that she and her partner were in the audience watching Laura Young dance. By the time those performances were being done in May, however, contracts for the following year were already in place. Bruce did not offer her a contract based on that evening's inspiration. Their first performance was on May 16, 1989 at a school matinee, when they did the ballet without the second act. On May 17, 1989 they did the entire ballet for the first time. Laura Young retired at the end of the run with the last performance, dancing with Devon Carney.

#6 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 04:08 AM

And you're right, Alexandra, they did four performances of Anna-Marie Holmes' production in the spring of 1993 at Kennedy Center. I believe the casts then were Larissa Ponomarenko and Polyana Ribeiro dancing with Victor Plotnikov (all four shows!). They also did a Boston run that spring.

#7 Manhattnik

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 05:32 AM

From what I've heard, Lorna Feijoo should make a crackerjack Kitri.

#8 koshka

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 07:01 AM

Wow! I can't believe that Polyana Ribeiro has been dancing soloist/principal roles for 10 years now! Time flies!

Costumes: I am vaguely recalling that there was a BB production, likely DonQ, with really awful thong-bottom tutus in the first act. Eek! My ballet subscription buddy and I were _horrified_, even as we noted with a teensy bit of catty satifaction that it was clear that not even professional dancers all have "buns of steel". Sure hope this production's costumes are different. Eek. I am squirming just remembering it.

Mme. Hermine: in the gymnastics world, errors such as you mention are referred to as "obligatory gymnastics article mistake"--there always seems to be at least one.

Is Daniel Meja still dancing? If so, where?

#9 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 07:15 AM

um, i don't recall any thong-bottom tutus.! :wacko: boston ballet has never had another production of don quixote other than this one. it might lead to misunderstandings in that as i understand it, the nureyev choreography, settings and stage direction is what they haven't done since 1986, but the physical properties are just being "spruced up" and are the same ones they've always had. maybe someone will let the board know?
daniel has retired; he is teaching now.

#10 koshka

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Posted 24 July 2003 - 09:30 AM

About the scary tutus--maybe it was another ballet. It was definitely a BB production (maybe they were just badly cut and were riding up???) Whatever--happily, I never saw anything like it again, at BB or elsewhere. But we do still remember these costumes with a shudder.

If the scary costumes won't be there, perhaps we will consider taking my friend's 6-year old. She made it through the spring Balanchine program, so maybe she'll last through DonQ.

Thanks for the clarification on what will and won't be different, and for the update on my favorite Jester ever.

#11 Joseph

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 06:44 AM

:wub:

I just bought a dvd of the Paris Opera Ballet dancing Nureyev's "Don Q." It is great because it is so recent (April 2002, I believe.) The dancing is wonderful of course and yes there are some differences that I noticed when I thought back to the video I have of the Kirov (Terekhova and Ruzimatov.) Particularily with the musical orchestration. John Lanchberry arranged the music. There are even some excerpts from "La Bayadere," in Act II (or at least from Makarova's version.) But, the actual technical aspect of the dancing seems very difficult! However, it is danced beautifully by Aurelie Dupont and Manuel Legris.

Side note: When I was a student at the BBSchool back in 1993, I was a peasant in "Don Quixote." Opening night was danced by Jenifer Gelfand and Fernando Bujones. This was not the Nureyev version. Anna-Marie Holmes did in fact set it and then re set it in April of 2000. I also got to be one of the puppets in Act II. :o

#12 Joseph

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 06:53 AM

One more thing-

Daniel Meja is a big idol of mine! He was such an amazing dancer, but the best part was he was so nice! I remember one show of "Midsummer's Night Dream" in 1992 when he was supposed to have a publicity shot of himself. He came running into the childrens dressing room and wanted all of us to join him. (However, the stage manager had different opinions!) :wub:

#13 jbtlse

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 07:08 AM

In the Spring of 2000 BB did Don Q--the same one that Joseph seemed to have done earlier-- students were urchins and marionettes. What was remarkable about this version was that a student (actually two students shared the role) danced the cupid solo (amour)--the cupid "corps" was also students. I seem to recall that a big deal was made of this--as it was supposedly an historically Russian casting choice but one that hadn't been done in Boston--I may be misremembering that bit! Choreographers listed as after Petipa/Gorsky, staging by Ms. Holmes among others.

As an aside, when I was in London last summer we went to the costume sale at the Royal Opera and acquired the Amour costume from RB's Nureyev's Don Q--which had literally just been performed( to not stellar reviews).

#14 Joseph

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 07:30 AM

Yes, JBlste, a student did dance the role of "Amour / Cupid." When I was in it, I remember Jenifer Gelfand and Pollyanna Riberio dancing this role. The students who were the "corps de cupids" were also students in the 1993 version. In the Nureyev version that I just bought there are no children in this scene (I think?!?!)

#15 koshka

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Posted 28 July 2003 - 08:37 AM

I believe that Cupid was danced by students when I saw DonQ at the Kirov last October.


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