As the official school of the American Repertory Ballet, students have the opportunity to audition to perform with the company in its annual production of The Nutcracker in theaters throughout New Jersey. There are also frequent occasions for students to appear with the professional company in other ballets. At the end of the school year, students may participate in a school production of a classical ballet. Rehearsals are held outside the regular class, allowing students to continue learning throughout the year, and also to have a better understanding of the process of putting together a ballet production.
On May 18, 2019, Princeton Ballet School performed Don Quixote at its annual end-of-year-show. This annual tradition is the result of month of work and planning by students, teachers, and many more.
Don Quixote de la Mancha, written by Miguel de Cervantes and published in 1605, is considered to be one of the most important novels in Spanish literature. The story has been translated into more than sixty languages, and most academic schools include this masterpiece in English and AP Spanish classes.
In 1896, legendary choreographer Marius Petipa turned Don Quixote into a ballet, set to the music of Ludwig Minkus.
The story, in short: On his passage through a colorful marketplace in Barcelona Don Quixote seems eccentric to most people. He believes ordinary inns to be enchanted castles, and Spanish girls to be beautiful princesses. He mistakes windmills for oppressive giants. He imagines a neighbor peasant to be Dulcinea del Toboso, the beautiful maiden to whom he has pledge love and fidelity. Through Kitri and Basilio’s adventures, Don Quixote becomes the protector of their love and helps them to marry.
“I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose”
“Se quien soy y quien puedo ser, si elijo”
~ Miguel de Cervantes