Time-honored Russian ballet troupe the Mariinsky Ballet will present the classic romantic comedy "Don Quixote" at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing from Nov 28 to 30.
The buoyant dance represents a legacy of the golden age of classical ballet of Russia and a poignant example of how Spain is portrayed in ballets with its whirlwind ensemble dancing, castanets, fans, polka dot skirts, roses and decorative combs in women's hairdos.
Despite its name, the ballet is not an adaptation of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes' definitive novel but based on an eponymous ballet of Marius Petipa, who is regarded as one of the most influential ballet masters and choreographers in ballet history.
Russian ballet choreographer Alexander Gorsky was a colleague of Petipa when the French ballet dancer graced the St. Petersburg stage in the late 19th century. In restaging Petipa's ballet Don Quixote, Gorsky turned the symmetrical corps de ballet into a playful, lively and cheerful crowd to make the performance more lifelike and truthful.
The festive performance is part of the repertoire of this year's NCPA Dance Festival, which is scheduled to conclude on Dec 7.