Don QuixoteMathilde Froustey in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote (© Erik Tomasson)

Original choreography by Marius Petipa celebrates 150th anniversary

      Don Quixote marks first of three story ballets in SF Ballet’s 2019 Repertory Season


SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, 2019—San Francisco Ballet opens Don Quixote, the first program of the 2019 Repertory Season, on January 25, with performances through February 3 at SF War Memorial Opera House. With staging first performed in 2003 and last seen in the 2015 Repertory Season, Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson and Choreographer in Residence Yuri Possokhov update Alexander Gorsky’s revisions to Marius Petipa’s original choreography from 1869, making this year’s Don Quixote a celebration of the 150th anniversary of this vibrant ballet, a rare comedy in the classical repertory.

Set to music by Ludwig Minkus, Gorsky and Petipa’s choreography infuses Spanish-inspired elements—like port de bras borrowed from Flamenco—into classical ballet. Minkus’ music follows suit, and guitars and tambourines pepper the orchestral score. Don Quixote also includes one of the most well-known dances in the repertory: the Act III pas de deux between lovers Kitri and Basilio, as well as the famed “Kitri jump,” a kick which propels the dancer’s foot close to her head. With 152 roles and 40 children spanning two casts, Don Quixote is a spectacle for all ages.

Don QuixoteJim Sohm in Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote. (© Erik Tomasson) 

The company’s 2019 performances of Don Quixote feature brightly-colored sets and costumes from 2012 by Martin Pakledinaz, who passed away shortly after his designs premiered. Pakledinaz, a Tony Award-winning artist, was a long-time collaborator with Helgi Tomasson, whose work can also be seen in the Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker. Don Quixote’s lighting designer is James F. Ingalls.

One of three narrative ballets of the 2019 Repertory Season and inspired by only two chapters from Miguel de Cervantes’ titanic picaresque novel, Don Quixote offers a host of dynamic characters: the title character, a mime role; Sancho Panza, the loveable squire; the flirtatious Kitri (Dulcinea); the barber Basilio, and more. Casting for Don Quixote will be announced at least one week prior to performances.

Additional information including Don Quixote’s synopsis and associated content is available on San Francisco Ballet’s website, in its Discover section. Ancillary events are also scheduled, including a Ballet Talk about Don Quixote’s character dancers on January 26 at 5:00 pm and a Ballet Book Club on February 2 at 5:00 pm. Meet the Artist pre-performance interviews occur on January 25 at 7:00 pm, January 27 at 1:00 pm, February 1 at 7:00 pm, and February 3 at 1:00 pm. Don Quixote’s Pointes of View lecture with Helgi Tomasson and dance educator Mary Wood is January 30 at 6:00 pm.

Don Quixote tickets start at $40 and may be purchased via the Ticket Services Office at 415 865 2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm or online at Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Don Quixote
Composer: Ludwig Minkus
Choreographers: Alexander Gorsky after Marius Petipa
Staging and additional choreography: Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov
Set and costume design: Martin Pakledinaz
Lighting design: James F. Ingalls
Run time: 2 hours and 35 minutes with two intermissions

Casting to be announced soon at

Friday, January 25, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm

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