In a creative feat that will see ballet transposed from screen to stage, Don Quixote recreates Rudolf Nureyev and Robert Helpmann’s 1973 film in a wildly colourful, palpably textured stage spectacle. A tribute to the legacy of the legendary Russian dancer and director who was a guest of The Australian Ballet in the early 1970s, this production resembles a painting come to life, enriched by a Spanish-flavoured score by veteran 19th-century ballet composer Ludwig Minkus, and vibrant costumes and sets that immerse audiences in a sultry experience of classical ballet.
Don Quixote moves from a rowdy Barcelona port to the ethereal happenings of the Don’s dream, to the candle-lit finery of the wedding celebration. A spirited ballet bursting with humour, the story follows the barber Basilio, who wins the hand of his girlfriend Kitri with the help of the visionary knight.
No detail is left unexplored in this rendition of Don Quixote. Emphasising the integral role of the set in evoking the film’s seductive atmosphere, the stage brims with everything from flowers to candles, evoking the bustling streets of Spain.
From the ballet’s spectacular lifts in Act I, to rousing ensemble scenes and a glittering confection of tutus, Don Quixote is a multi-sensory feast that reminds us of ballet’s power in the historical creative canon.
The re-design and restoration of Don Quixote has been funded by The David Hallberg Fund, with support from The Barry Kay Fund.
March 15th, 2023
March 25th, 2023
Recommended Age: 12yrs+
Arts Centre Melbourne is located across the river from Melbourne’s CBD and can be reached by a wide range of transport options.
The Theatres Building (under the Spire) and Hamer Hall (on the banks of the Yarra) are located on St Kilda Rd. The Theatres Building contains the State Theatre, the Playhouse, Fairfax Studio and our undercover carpark.
By Car The Arts Centre Melbourne undercover car park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The car park entrance is located at 4 Sturt Street. It is housed underneath the Theatres Building – a 5 minute walk (outside) to Hamer Hall or a 10 minute walk along St Kilda Rd to Sidney Myer Music Bowl. The car park is a cash-free facility, so please make sure you have a valid credit or debit card before entering.
By Train The closest train station to all venues is Flinders Street Station. Exit the station onto Swanston Street, turn your back on the city and walk across Princes Bridge.
By Tram The tram routes that stop in front of Arts Centre Melbourne are: 1, 3, 3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 and 72. This stop is number 14 – “Arts Precinct"
By Bike Bicycle lanes run north and south along St Kilda Road. On-street bicycle hoops are available outside Hamer Hall and the Theatres Building (under the Spire)
"The reinterpreted sets, brought from film to the stage, show why Nureyev’s version of Don Quixote is deeply embedded in the history of this company. There will be no denying the energy of bustling Spain through this new vision of a ballet beloved by audiences around the world." - David Hallberg
Choreography: Rudolf Nureyev
Music: Ludwig Minkus arranged by John Lanchbery
Costume design: Barry Kay
Set designs: Richard Roberts (based on the original film designs by Barry Kay)
Lighting design: Jon Buswell
Guest Repetiteur: Mark Kay
With: Orchestra Victoria
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