Ballet Nacional de Cuba
Alicia Alonso, Artistic Director
with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra
Don Quixote (May 29 & 30)
(Minkus/Alonso after Petipa)
Giselle (May 31–June 3)
(Adam/Alonso, based on Coralli and Perrot)
"So many stellar qualities in this company… dancing [to make] you fall in love with ballet all over again"--The Washington Post
The dancers of Ballet Nacional de Cuba are known around the world for their exuberant flair--and their uniquely Cuban, athletic training based in the Russian style infuses classics from the ballet repertoire with a special passion all their own. The company made its landmark U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center forty years ago, and Ballet Nacional de Cuba now returns for the first time since 2011 with two signature classics by Artistic Director Alicia Alonso that bridge the gap between refined taste and pure entertainment.
For two nights only, audiences will once again be captivated by all the fiery duets, comic twists, and showstopping virtuosity of Don Quixote. Alonso innovatively ties her version more closely to Cervantes's literary masterpiece--shining a brighter spotlight on the knight-errant title character, and his ideal woman Dulcinea, within the ballet's typical love story of village beauty Kitri and her barber boyfriend Basilio.
The rest of the company's engagement is dedicated to Alonso's triumphant Giselle, one of the greatest romantic ballets of all time--a fever dream of desire and heartbreak set amidst entangled social classes. When peasant girl Giselle is wooed, then tragically betrayed, by wealthy aristocrat Albrecht, she and her ghostly scorned companions, the Wilis, seek bittersweet retribution.