Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the American Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote

January 4, 2012

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Pacific Northwest Ballet presents the American Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote


February 3-12, 2012

Marion Oliver McCaw Hall

321 Mercer Street, Seattle Center

Seattle, WA 98109


February 3, 4 and 9–11 at 7:30 pm

February 4, 5, 11 & 12 at 1:00 pm

February 12 at 7:00 pm

(Please note that all matinee begin at 1:00 pm)


SEATTLE, WA – Pacific Northwest Ballet is honored to present the American Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s spectacular, full-length Don Quixote. The largest production ever presented in PNB’s history, Don Q runs from February 3 through 12, 2012 at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall. Tickets start at $28 and may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street, or online.


Ratmansky’s production, created for Dutch National Ballet in 2010, has been hailed as “the best version of this ballet…exciting and hot-blooded dance” (De Telegraaf).  The immensely popular story ballet combines Ratmansky’s acclaimed Russian fluency with classical tradition, lush sets and costumes, Ludwig Minkus’ rousing score (featuring the mighty PNB Orchestra), and legendary technical feats. Don Q‘s bravura classical dances showcase soloist virtuosity as dramatically as its mime and humor reveal accomplished character players. At the center of the ballet’s passionate Castilian heart, Minkus’ score endows each scene with rich atmosphere, deepened by Jérôme Kaplan’s (Roméo et Juliette) vibrant costumes and amber-washed sets. All elements combine with Ratmansky’s innately expressive movement to treat theater-lovers of all ages to a breathtaking theatrical experience.


Brimming with wit and romance, Don Q follows Spain’s legendary hero Don Quixote and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, to the famed city of Barcelona on a quest for his dream lover, Dulcinea.  Instead, he meets the high-spirited Kitri whose father would rather she marry a rich fool than the penniless but dashing Basilio. The couple takes flight and their adventures, reflected by the Don’s visions, fill the stage with teaming street life, the cadence of castanets and tambourines, flashing fans, and whirling matadors.


Emmy Award-winning actor Tom Skerritt (“Picket Fences”) – who, in addition to roles in such films as Top Gun, Alien and Steel Magnolias, played a former ballet dancer in the hit film The Turning Point — makes his ballet debut in the lead role of Don Quixote.  His devoted squire, Sancho Panza, will be played by Allen Galli, familiar to Seattle audiences from 30 years of appearances with every major local theatre company, including a previous stint as Sancho Panza in Village Theatre’s Man of La Mancha.  (The roles of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza will be played by PNB ballet master Otto Neubert and principal dancer Jonathan Porretta, respectively, at the Saturday February 4 and 11 matinees, and the “Eyes On Dance” school performance.)


Don Quixote is the largest production in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s history. The production originally cost Dutch National Ballet $3 million to build, and will cost PNB $860,000 to premiere.  Other factoids:

  • Don Q is so expansive that it requires 2,200 square feet of dancing space on stage; most of PNB’s story ballets require just 1,700 – 1,800 square feet.
  • Eight shipping containers were required to transport the elaborate sets and costumes from Amsterdam to Seattle.
  • More lumber and other building materials were used to construct the ballet than were used to create PNB’s Coppélia, Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty, combined.
  • The production utilizes 280 costumes and props, including 47 wigs and hairpieces, requiring the work of eight hair and make-up artists at each performance.  (PNB’s company is about half the size of Dutch National Ballet: Some dancers will change costumes up to five times in one performance.)
  • The hats worn by the Torreadors are authentic matador hats made in Madrid.
  • The masks for the six monsters in Don Q were made by a company that worked on the Lord of the Rings movies.




Born in St. Petersburg, Alexei Ratmansky trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow. He was a principal dancer with the Ukrainian National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Royal Danish Ballet. As a choreographer, Mr. Ratmansky has created ballets for Dutch National Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the State Ballet of Georgia. His 1998 work, Dreams of Japan, earned a prestigious Golden Mask Award by the Theatre Union of Russia. In 2003, Mr. Ratmansky was invited to mount a full-length ballet, The Bright Stream, at the Bolshoi Theatre, a production which would win for him the appointment of Bolshoi Theatre artistic director in 2004. For the Bolshoi Ballet, he also choreographed full-length productions of The Bolt (2005) and re-staged Le Corsaire (2007) and the Soviet-era Flames of Paris (2008). Under Mr. Ratmansky’s direction, the Bolshoi Ballet was named “Best Foreign Company” in 2005 and 2007 by The Critics’ Circle in London, and he received a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for The Bright Stream. In 2005, Mr. Ratmansky was awarded the Benois de la Danse prize for his choreography of Anna Karenina for Royal Danish Ballet, and in 2007, he won a Golden Mask Award for Best Choreographer for his production of Jeu de Cartes for the Bolshoi Ballet.  Alexei Ratmansky joined American Ballet Theatre as Artist in Residence in January 2009.




Ludwig Minkus (1869)

Additional music by Anton Simon, Vladimir Shiskov, Cesare Pugni, Yuli Gerber, Eduard Napravnik, and Riccardo Drigo

Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky, with additional choreography and staging by Alexei Ratmansky

Sandrine Leroy, Judy Maelor-Thomas, Sonja Marchiolli
Scenic and Costume Design:

Jérôme Kaplan
Lighting Design:

James Ingalls
Original Production Premiere:

December 14, 1869; Imperial Ballet, Moscow, choreography by Marius Petipa; revived November 9, 1871, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg
Gorsky Production Premiere:

December 6, 1900, Imperial Ballet, Moscow choreography by Alexander Gorsky (after Marius Petipa); restaged January 20, 1902, Imperial Ballet, St. Petersburg
Ratmansky Production Premiere:

February 13, 2010; Dutch National Ballet (Amsterdam)


American Premiere:

February 3, 2012; Pacific Northwest Ballet


Running Time:

2 hours and 50 minutes (including two intermissions)


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote runs February 4-13 at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street at Seattle Center. Showtimes are 7:30 pm February 3-4 and 9-11, 7:00 pm February 12, with 1:00 pm matinees February 4-5 and 11-12.


Ticket range: $28-$168. Tickets may be purchased through the PNB Box Office:

  • Phone: 206.441.2424 (Mon.-Fri. 9am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • In Person: 301 Mercer Street, Seattle (Mon.-Fri. 10am–6pm; Sat. 10am–5pm)
  • Online: (24/7)

Subject to availability, tickets are also available 90 minutes prior to each performance at McCaw Hall.





Special activities for children and families – including crafts and dance classes – begin one hour before all matinee performances.



Subject to availability, half-price rush tickets for students and senior citizens (65+) may be purchased in-person with ID, beginning 90 minutes prior to show time at the McCaw Hall box office.



All Thursday and Friday performances: February 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30 pm

One ticket for $15 or two for $25 for patrons 25 years and younger! To purchase tickets, contact the PNB Box Office at 206.441.2424 or visit 301 Mercer Street. This offer is good for February 3, 9 and 10 performances only. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets. Each attendee must present valid ID upon ticket retrieval.



PNB is a proud participant of Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program. Young people 13 to 19 years old can purchase tickets to PNB performances and other music, dance, theater and arts events for only $5. To join Teen Tix or view a list of participating organizations, visit



Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, please call 206.441.2416, email or use PNB’s Online Group Builder at



Friday, January 27, 6:00 pm

The Phelps Center, 301 Mercer Street, Seattle

Join us for an hour-long dance preview led by Artistic Director Peter Boal and featuring PNB dancers rehearsing excerpts from Don Q. PNB Friday Previews offer an upbeat and up-close view of the Company preparing to put dance on stage. Tickets, $10 each, are on now. (This event will sell out in advance.) Friday Previews are sponsored by U.S. Bank.



Tuesday, January 31, 12:00 noon

Central Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle

Join PNB for a free lunch-hour preview lecture at the Central Seattle Public Library. Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington will offer insights about Don Q, complete with video excerpts. FREE of charge.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lecture 6:00 pm, Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Dress Rehearsal 7:00 pm, McCaw Hall

Join PNB artistic staff for an engaging discussion during the hour preceding the dress rehearsal. Attend the lecture only or stay for the rehearsal. Tickets are $12 for the lecture, or $25 for the lecture and dress rehearsal. Tickets may be purchased by calling 206.441.2424, online at or in person at the PNB Box Office at 301 Mercer Street.


Pre-Performance Lectures

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Join Education Programs Manager Doug Fullington for a 30-minute introduction to each performance, including discussions of choreography, music, history, design and the process of bringing Don Q to the stage. One hour before performances. FREE for ticketholders.


Post-Performance Q&A

Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall

Skip the post-show traffic and enjoy a Q&A with Artistic Director Peter Boal and PNB dancers. Immediately following each performance. FREE for ticketholders.


Listen to the Ballet!

PNB partners with 98.1 Classical KING FM to bring listeners some of the world’s most popular ballet scores, featuring the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra direct from McCaw Hall. Tune in to KING FM for an opening weekend performance of Don Q on Saturday, February 4 at 7:30 pm. Only on 98.1 fm or online at


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Principal support for the U.S. premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote is provided by Glenn Kawasaki and Dan & Pam Baty. The production is also made possible by supporting sponsors Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation, Perkins Coie LLP, and Dilettante Chocolates.  Media support for Don Q provided by KOMO 4.  Special thanks to promotional partners Pacific Place and Segura Viudas.


Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 2011-2012 Season is proudly sponsored by Microsoft Corporation. Additional season support is provided by Artsfund, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4Culture – King County Lodging Tax and Washington State Arts Commission.


Schedule, casting and programming subject to change.

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