Who Will You Meet on Don Quixote's Adventure?
February 27, 2023
Don Quixote is a dreamer. He is middle-aged, eccentric and noble. Virtuous, romantic and proud. After a dream inspired by the gallant knights in the many books he reads, he sets out on a mission to defend chivalry and do good in the world. His main goal, however, is to encounter the beautiful, young and completely fictional Dulcinea, who visits him in his dreams. Intelligent as he is delusional, dressed in ill-fitting armor and with his haggard horse Rocinante, Don Quixote takes up his lance and sword and embarks on a quest like the noble knights in his novels.
Sancho Panza is his devoted, but dunce, squire who eagerly follows him on this journey. They first met one night in Don Quixote’s chambers, where Sancho Panza took refuge after stealing a ham. Despite the circumstances they met under, Don Quixote decides that he is of fair character. For this act of kindness, Sancho Panza gives him his undying loyalty. He admires his master’s creativity and passion, even at times when others ridicule and belittle him. Sancho Panza is a humorous, forgiving and lighthearted sidekick. Together, Sancho Panza and Don Quixote set off on their adventure, but first, they must pass through the village square…
It is market day. The plaza is filled with dance, music and merriment, and the beautiful Quiteria “Kitri” captures all attention. Sassy yet sweet, she is the life of the party wherever she goes. Her father has high hopes for his spirited daughter. She is, after all, his only child. He has arranged a marriage to a wealthy local nobleman who will provide her security and raise their family’s social status. The only catch is that Kitri is hopelessly in love with another man.
Lorenzo, Kitri's father, is assured that she will be best suited to a match of his making. As the local innkeeper, he dreams that she will have a better life, with a partner who can provide more for her. He also does not mind the idea of having such a highborn son-in-law. Lorenzo resists the idea of his beautiful and only daughter living anything but a life of affluence and luxury. However at the end of the day, like most fathers, all he truly wants is for Kitri to be happy and cared for.
Like all other men, Basilio, the local barber, is enchanted by Kitri. Though penniless, Basilio has managed to be the only one to capture her heart. He is excessively flirtatious and perfectly matches her witty, extroverted nature. Ultimately unable to obtain Lorenzo's parental blessing, but completely enamored, Basilio foolhardily steals away with Kitri during the busy market day.
Gamache is from a noble family and extremely wealthy. In his day and age, that is enough to make him a catch, and he knows this. But his vanity makes him cocky and pompous and thus utterly unlikeable. Gamache, like Basilio, has his eyes set on Kitri. Highborn and affluent, he is the son-in-law of Lorenzo’s dreams. Incredibly arrogant and self-important, rejection doesn't wound his heart, rather shatters his inflated ego.
Where have Kitri and Basilio gone? Who will she marry? Which side will Don Quixote take? Will he ever find his beloved Dulcinea and become the man he dreams he is? Meet the characters and find out why the fiery emotions, flamboyant adventures and comedic plot of Don Quixote have enticed audiences for generations. March 17 through 19, with Atlanta Ballet.
Contributed by Margaux Nicolas
Atlanta Ballet dancers Stéphano Candreva and Nathan Griswold in Don Quixote.
Photo by Kim Kenney.