Waiting for Don Quixote

Shortly before the long-awaited premiere of Leonid Yacobson Theatre's Don Quixote production, the creators of the new show met with journalists on the premises of the Interfax information agency.

By arranging this meeting with St. Petersburg's leading mass media on the eve of its grand premiere, the Theatre reaffirmed its management's commitment to transparency and eagerness to spread awareness of its activities among as many people as possible.

It is important to note that this was the Theatre's first large-scale press conference over the past few years. When talking of the upcoming premiere, Art Director Andrian Fadeev emphasised that each new attempt to stage Don Quixote is always a bit of a risk, not only because the ballet has a lot of complex technical elements, but also because the public knows and loves it, which makes it quite a challenge to find a refreshing twist to a tale as old as time. The latter is precisely the reason why the new version of Marius Petipa's masterpiece, timed to coincide with the great choreographer's 200th birth anniversary, involved such an impressive team of stars. Johan Kobborg, a brilliant dancer and one-time principal of the Royal Ballet in London, who has already asserted himself as a successful choreographer across world-class ballet venues, including the Bolshoi Theatre, confessed that meeting the youthful and promising dancers of the Leonid Yacobson Ballet company was quite a pleasant surprise. According to the choreographer, the performance crew's youth and enthusiasm, combined with artistic talent and profound technical mastery, are the key to creating a vibrant and emotional show, which the public will certainly enjoy. Jérôme Kaplan, set designer for the ballet, also told a story of his own, explaining that he had been preparing for this task for a long time and with thorough attention to detail, even despite this being the third Don Quixote in his career. His unique scenery and luxurious costumes, some of which were presented to the journalists, had been inspired by Gustave Doré's engravings, in particular the Travels in Spain book. The renowned set designer pointed out that, when he does his job, he 'always works for choreography, not against it', meaning that he makes sure that the costumes do not just look pretty but are also easy for specific dancers perform in. After their speeches, the team members present at the meeting answered the journalists' questions.

In his closing address, Andrian Fadeev reminded everyone of the meaning behind the very first premiere at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre being scheduled for December 14. That was the day when, back in 1869, the original Don Quixote, with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Ludwig Minkus, opened at the Bolshoi. The Yacobson Theatre's art director also expressed his hope that this ballet, drenched in the golden Spanish sun, would dispel the bitter frost that shackles St. Petersburg before the New Year, and prove to be a wonderful gift for the residents and guests of Russia's Northern Capital.