Often referred to as ballet’s most beloved romantic comedy, Don Quixote, based on Miguel de Cervantes’ definitive novel, is a heart-warming story of one erratic and unflinching man’s quest for love.
Its namesake character is an older gentleman, a lover of books and of love itself, who becomes so captivated by stories of knights and their gallantry that he dreams up his own adventure.
When he wakes, he and his faithful squire, Sancho Panzo, set out on a hilariously charming quest to save Dulcinea, the woman of Don Quixote’s dreams.
They meet many memorable characters along their journey—gypsies and bullfighters and noblemen—who give this story its buoyancy. They are at the core of what makes Don Quixote an unforgettable production.
Here, meet some of the characters of Don Quixote, with insight from a few of our dancers performing the roles.
Filled with earnestness and courtly manners, Don Quixote is an older gentleman eager for an adventure. A dream is enough to spur him along, and as he sets out to save Dulcinea, an imaginary woman he conjures, his confusion and sincerity stand in stark contrast to those around him, often causing him mishap while serving to advance the interests of others.
Sancho is Don Quixote’s loyal sidekick and a foil to his delusions. “With the pride of his own gut, Sancho has a trademark aspect that makes him spritely, overweight and has a ‘happy-to-be-here’ quality,” says dancer Jacob Beasley. He’s often named a favorite in the ballet for his many laugh-inducing moments. “He brings much of the comedic relief in the ballet by accidentally making a fool of himself on multiple occasions due to his curiosity,” says dancer Bailey Shaw.
Spirited and full of zest for life, Kitri is in love with the town barber Basilio. But her father has other plans for her, and Kitri resists them with a fiery zeal. She effortlessly captures the attention of those around her, including Don Quixote, who mistakes her for his Dulcinea and pursues her with fervor.
His flirtatiousness serves him well with Kitri, as he captures her heart and she his. He eagerly joins her to escape the wrath of her father upon his discovery of their courtship. Basilio is roguish and witty, traits that prove helpful as he attempts to thwart the efforts of Gamache, the man Kitri’s father would rather she marry.
A wealthy nobleman, Gamache rests on his laurels when it comes to pursuing Kitri (at the urging of her father). “He’s incredibly vain and self-important,” says dancer Michael Sayre. “Rejection doesn’t damage his heart as much as threaten his ego, and he ends up being perfectly happy as long as he’s the center of attention.”
Don Lorenzo is the local innkeeper and the father of Kitri. His love for his daughter causes him to resist the idea of her marrying a barber and demand she take the hand of Gamache. “He is a true parent,” says special guest dancer Scott Brown. “He has all the strengths and failings that most parents do, but in the end he really only wants his daughter to be happy.”