Don Quixote is a wonderful comic ballet based on the Cervantes story. One of the most technically challenging works ever created, the ballet is rarely performed because of the sheer bravura required.
Choreographed by the legendary Alicia Alonso from the original work by Marius Petipa, and set to the music of Ludwig Minkus, the company is being brought to Vancouver by long-time dance impresario David Y.H. Lui and Brent Belsher.
Don Quixote is a seminal piece – it is one of the major classics of ballet being performed in the world today," explains Lui. "Add to that, the passion of the dancers from the National Ballet of Cuba and you will have a dance experience unlike any other in the city this season. If you see just one production in Vancouver this year – then Don Quixote should be it.
Originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus in 1869, Don Quixote is a must-see – one of those seldom-performed, but exquisitely executed pieces of work that will inspire and delight audiences, leaving them with the knowledge they have experienced something truly magical.
Under the guidance of Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso as Director of the National Ballet of Cuba, this production of Don Quixote effortlessly blends the drama of the tale, with the athletic grace of the Cuban dancers to create a passionate and colourful portrayal of the most famous son of La Mancha.
Members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra will play the music for the performances in a LIVE artistic collaboration with the Cubans.
After a prominent international dance career with the American Ballet Theatre, Prima Ballerina Assoluto Alicia Alonso was named one of the greatest Giselle's of the 20th Century.
In 1948, Alonso returned home where she worked towards founding the National Ballet of Cuba. When Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959 the government began supporting the company to a greater degree.
In Cuba today, while Castro is considered the political father of the country, Alonso is considered the cultural mother. The National Ballet of Cuba was an integral part of the revolution and continues to occupy a prominent place in society. The company continues to produce technically strong dancers who often go on to become principal dancers with major ballet companies in the west.
With gradual increasing blindness she continued to dance into her 70's and is considered one of the greatest ballerinas of her time. At 90 Alonso continues to direct the company and is planning on coming to the Vancouver performances in February 2012.
David passed away working on bringing the National Ballet of Cuba to Vancouver in February. With David's passing in October of 2011 Brent Belsher is now dedicating the performances to his friend and business partner
A cultural icon in Western Canada, David Y. H. Lui was a prominent member of the artistic community in Canada for more than 40 years. A proven leader and visionary, David combined his experience, imagination and creativity to continually build the arts infrastructure in BC and Canada.
Starting his presenting and producing career at the University of British Columbia, David became interested in dance and ballet during the "golden age of touring dance" – in the seventies and the eighties. Since then, he became the major impresario of arts in Western Canada and founded several major BC arts organizations.
David is internationally recognized and celebrated for developing sophisticated audiences in Vancouver, BC - most notably for dance - through a presentation of artists and companies that appeal to a wide and varied audience. He is a member of the Order of Canada (Canada's highest civilian honour) for his work in the arts.
Brent Belsher's career in the arts began when he took a position with Ballet British Columbia as manager of artistic operations in 2000. Prior to his involvement in the arts, Brent worked for a Vancouver-based travel company leading tour groups through more than 35 countries.
He has also been an international meeting planner and worked in Japan for four years as a cross-cultural trainer and English teacher. Since 2006, Brent has been working as an arts consultant – primarily in dance – with a variety of arts organizations specializing in management and touring.
Brent has served on various juries with the Canada Council for the Arts, and volunteers much of his time to the arts community offering his insights and management expertise as well as his strategic planning skills.
Outside the arts, Brent also works as a meeting planner for the International Copper Association, for whom he organizes and runs meetings all over the world.
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