The Arriaga Theatre, in collaboration with the BOS – Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, presents Don Quixote, by the Compañía Nacional de Danza, performed to a musical accompaniment by the BOS orchestra.
Together with Swan Lake, the Ballet Don Quixote, by Marius Petipa, was one of the most popular ballets in Russia, where it first opened in 1869 to a musical score by Ludwig Minkus. This colourful work broke away from the eerie world of supernatural or fairylike creatures of the classical 19th century ballets and brought ordinary people to the stage.
The libretto is based on an episode from the second volume of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (chapter XXI, “Continuing with the wedding of Camacho and other fine events …”), and the action focuses on the troublesome love between Quiteria and Basilio rather than on the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
The ballet was passed on from one generation to the next continually in Russia thanks to tradition and successive revisions, the most important of these being the work of Alexander Gorski in 1900.
The Compañía Nacional de Danza was founded in 1979 under the name of Ballet Nacional de España Clásico, and the first Director was Víctor Ullate. Today, the director José Carlos Martínez leads the Compañía Nacional de Danza project, promoting and disseminating the art of dance and the company’s extensive repertoire, reserving a large space for new Spanish creations, without neglecting the great contemporary choreographers, including pieces in other styles such as classic and neo-classical, whilst always taking care to encourage contemporary and avant-garde dance.