Thanks to the 17th-century Spanish novel Don Quixote, the English lexicon gained a word beloved by spelling bee directors and Scrabble players everywhere: “quixotic,” which means, per Merriam-Webster, “foolishly impractical, especially in the pursuit of ideals.”
For many ballet companies, attempting to stage Marius Petipa and Alexander Gorsky’s ambitious, daring full-length ballet adaptation of Don Quixote might be the epitome of quixotism — an impractical fool’s errand, given the constraints of rehearsal time, budget, and regional talent. It’s a good thing Miami City Ballet is not most ballet companies. The award-winning dance powerhouse already received global recognition prior to artistic director Lourdes Lopez’s first fully chosen season (which concludes with Quixote), and her propensity for pushing dancers to their limits reaches its dramatic apotheosis here. Expect to see all of the sensual gypsies, macho toreadors, tilting windmills, donkeys, and equines for which the story is best known — to say nothing of the gnomes, fairies, gigantic spiders, and other supernatural elements the beleaguered characters will experience on their journey. Be prepared for an emotional ride; the dancers’ larger-than-life characterizations hew closer to opera than traditional ballet.
Don Quixote runs Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $20 to $95. Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.
April 11-12, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 13, 2 p.m., 2014