Ballet Don Quixote
Marius Petipa was born in Marseille, France in 1818 moved to St. Petersburg in 1847 from Italy and died in Gurzuf Ukraine in 1910. He worked for nearly 60 years at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and had an extensive impact on contemporary classical Russian ballet. He directed many of the best artists in Russian ballet and developed ballets that retain an important position in Russian dance repertoire.
After Marius Petipa’s launching in Nantes, France, in 1838, he danced in Belgium, France, and the United States before accepting an engagement in Spain, where he collected product for ballets later on produced in Russia. He established a credibility as a talented pantomime artist and among the outstanding dancers of his day.
Petipa made his preliminary appearance at the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre in 1847 in Paquita. For his wife, the ballerina Mariya Surovshchikova, he developed Le Marché des Paris (1859; “Parisian Market”; staged as Le Marché des innocents, 1861). His first impressive success was La fille du pharaon (1862; “The Pharaoh’s Child”).
Later on, after becoming choreographer in 1862 and chief choreographer in 1869, Petipa produced more than 60 ballets, working from thoroughly detailed strategies that became the basis of contemporary classical ballet in Russia. He worked together with Tchaikovsky on The Nutcracker (Casse Noisette, choreographed by his assistant Lev Ivanov) and The Sleeping Beauty and presented versions of Swan Lake, Raymonda, and Giselle that have been revived frequently. Among other major ballets are his Don Quixote (1869 ), La Bayadère (1877 ), and Le Corsaire (1899 ).
The composer who teamed up with Petipa in creating Don Quixote ballet was Aloisius Ludwig Minkus. His biographical details is very diverse however the most typically information on his origin states that he was born in Vienna in 1826. There are opinions that he was of Polish or Czech origin. His first structures were light music for dancing.
His first public presentation of ballet music was an e n’tracte included into a Moscow performance of Adam’s Orfa. In1861 Minkus worked in the Bolshoi Theater, first as violin musician, later he became a composer of the theatre and in 1864 he was ended up being a ballet author at the Bolshoi. His career in Bolshoi was disrupted by the trip to France and on going back to Russia the author started developing ballet music for Petipa’s works.
In 1868 Petipa made Don Quixote ballet for the Bolshoi Theater, with music composed by Minkus in the very same year. The ballet was a well-deserved success being first performed in 1869 in Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. It was fame for both Minkus and Petipa. This was beginning of productive activity by Minkus, and in 1877 appeared one of his most effective compositions La Bayadère, Roxana or The Beauty from Montenegro in 1878 and numerous others.
Though the ballet by Petipa on music by Minkus was not the first attempt to put the popular novel into music and dances Petipa’s variation of Don Quixote, is thought about as the standard ballet version of Cervantes’ story with the popular virtuoso pas de deux. The great deal of ballet success depends on the style of this ballet which is primarily figured out by Minkus’ music.
Minkus ballet music is filled with rhythm, vigour and energetic melody. Don Quixote music is frequently regarded as normal music which does not exceed the bounds of traditional accompaniment to the dance. In reality, Don Quixote rating is lacking abundant colors typical of later ballet music, it does not explore moving lyricism like Swan’s Lake by Tchaikovsky.
We also can not feel any symphonic depth or other functions which are unique for the very best ballet scores. However, this music is remarkable dancing, with deep abundant rhythm and hence it assists the dance to adopt the required emotionality and vividness.
Don Quixote music is vibrant and it is really essential for the comedy efficiency, it explores hot temper, melody and joyful passion the functions so typical for Spanish melodies. Minkus’ music is both the accompaniment and impulse to dance.
Don Quixote is referred to as a “bol’shoi balet” in the Soviet catalogue of Petipa’s works (Slonimsky 1971, 377-388). A translation of the French ballet à grand spectacle, the term is used to describe ballets that resemble nineteenth-century grand operas in their length, the complexity of their stories, and tendency toward visual spectacle. (Scholl 1994, 4-5)
Since these works dominated the Petersburg phase from the 1860s through the 1890s, and because Russian ballet had no serious competitors in Europe by the 1870s, the Petipa “grand ballet” has concerned represent the ballet style of the late nineteenth century. Petipa, the founder of romantic dance in Russia, developed two versions of the ballet– one was developed specifically for Bolshoi Theater and the 2nd one was developed for Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.
This second version included such aspects like “white act” with its stringent symmetry and the popular final virtuoso pas de deux. As Scholl observes, before the work was staged in St Petersburg, Peterburgskaya gazeta, the paper finest representing regional balletomane opinion, reported on the Moscow production:
Don Quixote was staged in Moscow in the decadent manner. As an example, a number of dances were staged so that on one side of the phase they danced one way, and on the other side, to the exact same music, other dances were carried out. (1 September 1901), (57 )
Petipa’s primary objections focus around the primacy of dance in Don Quixote in which, scenery, and outfits were of secondary importance and respectively the music needed to act only as accompaniment and incentive. Don Quixote is a successful mix of perfect and brilliant dancing with emotional music.
While being brisk and full of vitality the Minkus’ music in no other way dominates the dance itself. The dancers appear prior to the spectators in their full advantage. As it was currently specified the music was finest fit for the plot related to occasions with hot Spanish characters. This music is identified by its gift to set any listener to feel like dancing.
Which was, probably, why precisely Muniks’ music was picked for this ballet. Minkus adored waltz and his enthusiasm for that style identified the existence of gypsies, rajahs, Spanish bullfighters, Indian temple maidens dancing to a waltz rhythm in Don Quixote ballet. Though the ballet does not have clear advancement of the plot it draws in the spectators by its effervescent, masterly dances parade so respected in the ballet.
The dance here functions as the natural expression of the action occurring on the stage. Don Quixote heroes are not simple entertainers of various dance problems; they reside in their dance and reveal through it their ideas and feelings. The viewer gladly forgives the bit parts prepared for Don Quixote and his faithful Sancho Panza and readily accepts pleasant Kitri and her pal Basilio.
These two young heroes are certainly better for such vivid and passionate music than old knight in heavy armour. Petipa shows an impressive command of mass on the stage and the kind taken by his dancing reveals substantial imagination. The choreography and staging Petipa created for the ballet were similarly ostentatious.
The ballet’s ballabile included 36 dancers with baskets of flowers on their heads containing kids who all of a sudden appeared in the dance’s last posture. Scholl sums up Petipa’s choreography as “the culmination of the advancement of a particular type of theatrical dancing, developed to make use of the scenic capacity of the proscenium phase.
The ballet’s emphasis of the human body’s maximal legibility developed as the Renaissance perspective phase was developed”. (8) As consequence, the best combination of Petipa’s choreographic approach and Minkus’ music developed into a bright comedy with farcical elements.
Petipa-Minkus ballet Don Quixote persuades the spectator that ballet is great art. Ballet can express ideas, create consistency and an integral map of the world as any other creative form of expression.
Koegler, Horst. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet, 2nd ed. Oxford, 1982.
Noble, Jeremy. “Legends of the Maryinsky.” Dance Magazine. Vol. 73. Concern: 6. June 1999, p. 57.
Scholl, Tim From Petipa to Balanchine: Classical Revival and the Modernization of Ballet. New York: Routledge, 1994
Sedov, Yaroslav. “Inside the Bolshoi”. Russian Life. Vol. 47. Problem: 6. November-December 2004, p. 22
“The Museum of Ballet”. Russian Life. Vol. 48. Concern: 1. January-February 2005, p. 38
Slonimsky, Yuri. Marius Petipa: materialy, vospominaniya, stat’i. [Marius Petipa: Materials, Reminiscences, Articles], Leningrad, 1971