Ballet Philippines' 'Don Quixote': A classic rom-com narrated through dance
Watching the ballet for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. It’s a feast for the senses: orchestral music flows through the venue, buoying the complex choreography executed by graceful dancers clad in elaborate costumes. It’s a lot to take in, especially when you need to understand a tale as it unfolds through dance.
In most instances, it’s easier to comprehend and enjoy stories that are light and relatable. This is why rom-coms are such a hit with a majority of people. A girl can easily find herself in the shoes of the heroine in a love story, or wish she were. This avid response to romantic yet humorous plots can be expected in any medium, whether it’s film, theater, or even dance.
To cap its 48th season, Ballet Philippines presents the Spanish literary classic Don Quixote, derived from an episode of Miguel de Cervantes’ El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha).
The story is about the lofty exploits of Don Quixote of La Mancha in Barcelona, where he meets an innkeeper’s daughter named Kitri. He mistakes Kitri for his beloved, Dulcinea. The innkeeper’s daughter, on the other hand, is smitten by a down-on-his-luck local barber named Basilio, but her father disapproves. Mayhem and merriment arise when the man from La Mancha unwittingly leads the star-crossed lovers to the happy ending they deserve.
The story of Don Quixote is timeless. It’s much like the tales we see presented in other forms of modern entertainment: it tells the story of undying love, heroism, it's filled with adventure, and laced with light doses of humor – very much like the rom-coms you see in the movies or on TV.
Adam Sage returns to Ballet Philippines as Associate Artistic Director and Ballet Master, and as the regisseur (restager) of Don Quixote.
Sage believes that Don Quixote is something that could happen to anyone, and that Don Quixote would be the perfect show to watch for those seeing the ballet for the first time, as well as for die-hard ballet patrons, as it will still showcase exciting leaps, lifts and turns seasoned ballerinas are known for.
He also believes that Don Quixote is suitable for any audience, regardless of age, gender, or ballet experience.
“I want everyone to come,” he said in jest during the show’s press launch.
He added, “I think this – because of the music and the comedy – would be good for children, very good for children. There’s nothing inappropriate. I think this is probably a good story for college-aged, early 20s [people] because it relates to where a lot of people at that age are in terms of falling in love for the first time, and mom and dad being too happy.”
Internationally renowned and multi-awarded ballet performer Joseph Gatti will perform on special gala nights. Formerly a principal dancer with Cincinnati Ballet and Corella Ballet, Mr. Gatti has won various prestigious ballet competitions such as the New York International Ballet Competition and World Ballet Competition. He will partner with Ballet Philippines resident guest artist Candice Adea.
Aside from Adea and Gatti, BP company members Jemima Reyes, Monica Gana, Victor Maguad and Ian Ocampo will also portray Kitri and Basilio. The Manila Symphony Orchestra will play live on all shows, conducted by Jeffrey Solares.
Don Quixote will run from February 9 to 18 at the CCP Main Theater. Mr. Gatti will perform on February 9, 8pm and February 10 at 7pm. For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at 832-3704, Ticketworld at 891-9999 or purchase through www.ticketworld.com.ph.
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