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Toasting love, life, loyalty through ‘Don Quixote’

Cast of Ballet Philippines’ Don Quixote

AS IF the Filipinos’ fixation on stories of love, life, and friendship were not being satiated by the everlasting telenovelas, current films such as “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes,” “Changing Partners,” and “Call Me By Your Name,” Ballet Philippines is closing its 48th season with the famous romance between Kitri and Basilio in the classic ballet “Don Quixote.”

BP President Margie Moran-Floirendo said Don Quixote is “truly a big, happy fiesta celebrating life, love, and dance.”

“Don Quixote is very special to the company, and it has had a long history with us. We started staging its grand pas de deux in 1973, and mounted our first full-length of it in 1981, with Luminita Dumitrescu restaging the ballet,” she said.

Moran-Floirendo said “one of the greatest ballerinas of all time, Natalia Makarova performed Don Quixote’s grand pas de deux here (at the Cultural Center of the Philippines) with Ballet Philippines in 1979.

“Don Quixote is the perfect show for those watching ballet for the first time. A light and fun story, it is ballet’s rom-com. But it is also perfect for die-hard balletomanes, who will surely look out for Don Q’s signature leaps, dizzying turns, and death-defying lifts,” she told reporters.

For the 2018 BP Don Quixote, an edition intended for millennials, the company is featuring American Joseph Gatti, who was a principal dancer of the Cincinnati Ballet and the Corella Ballet. Gatti was a first soloist of Boston Ballet.

Joseph Gatti

In 2005, Gatti became the first American male dancer to win the prestigious gold medal at the New York International Ballet Competition.

Gatti and Candice Adea, BP’s resident guest artist, perform on the special gala nights of Feb. 9, 8 p.m. and Feb. 10, 7 p.m., accompanied by the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Solares.

The restager of the ballet is Adam Sage, who returns to BP as associate artistic director and ballet master. Sage has performed, taught, coached, and choreographed in four continents for nearly three decades.

After his stint with BP in 1981-1983, Sage danced with Ballet West, Ballet Memphis, Hong Kong Ballet, and National Dance Company of Boputhatswana in South Africa. He also founded and served as artistic director of Missouri Ballet Theatre.

Aside from Gatti and Adea, the principal roles of Kitri and Basilio will be portrayed by BP company members Jemima Reyes, Monica Gana, Victor Maguad, and Ian Ocampo.

Inspired by the Miguel de Cervantes’ tale, the ballet follows the adventures of Don Quixote in Barcelona, where he meets Kitri, an innkeeper’s daughter whom he thinks is his lady love Dulcinea. Kitri, in turn, is in love with Basilio, the poor local barber. Kitri’s father does not like Basilio.

Riot and confusion erupt as the gentleman from La Mancha unwittingly helps the two lovers attain their happy ending.

Catch Don Quixote on Feb. 9 -11 and Feb. 16 -18 at the CCP Main Theater.

For tickets, call BP at 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at 832-3704, or Ticketworld at 891-9999, or visit to


Ibarra C. Mateo
A journalist since 1983, Ibarra C. Mateo is also an editor, a researcher, and a communication consultant.

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