Director’s Notebook: Don Quixote

Dear Friends,

Join us in sunny Barcelona this weekend without the airfare or the time change! Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote is here, and what a spectacular, over-the-top, inspiring moment for PNB. Here are a few facts you may not know:

We have only broken 30 fans so far! This is impressive given that almost every female in this large cast whacks her man with a fan. Kitri hits not only Basilio, but also Gamache and the floor. She even displays her fan throughout her 32 fouette turns. Our Spanish Dance Consultant Sara de Luis has taught our women to use these beautiful fans as weapons of femininity.

Our Fan Club members, who include more than 70 patrons who have collectively donated $700,000, deserve special thanks for ensuring that the US premiere of this production is happening right here in Seattle. (There’s still need if you want to help…)

14 pairs of castanets are used in each performance: none broken yet…

The mighty Tom Skerritt has broken his wooden sword three times!

It takes 36 stage crew members to work each performance. Our crew, with many additional hires, worked until 2am Tuesday morning loading in, with carpenters arriving at 4am to start the next day’s shift.

There are also 9 wig and makeup artists working each show, along with 13 dressers helping the cast of 70. There are 20 fast changes, with Ryan Cardea having 4 in each performance.

It’s been a pleasure to see this coming together from the dedicated work of our home team and an extensive list of guests including some of the finest designers and stagers and one brilliant choreographer. If you can attend Doug’s interview with Alexei prior to Dress rehearsal, it is a rare opportunity to hear from one of the greats.

A proud moment for PNB! See you at the ballet.

Peter Boal


Featured photo: PNB dancer Maria Chapman in Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote, photo © Angela Sterling.

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