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Virginia Arts Festival Opens 25th Anniversary Season with American Ballet Theatre's Don Quixote

Words and Images Courtesy of Virginia Arts Festival

Virginia Arts Festival's Opening Weekend of the 25th Season! Virginia Arts Festival Presents American Ballet Theatre In the Spectacular Classic Don Quixote Score Performed Live by Virginia Symphony Orchestra Three Performances Only! March 25-27, 2022 Chrysler Hall, Norfolk

Virginia Arts Festival has announced that it will present the spectacular American Ballet Theatre March 25-27, 2022 as opening weekend of the Festival’s 25th Anniversary Season. Hailed as “one of the greatest and grandest ballet companies in the whole wide world” (The New York Times), American Ballet Theatre is acknowledged as one of the greatest dance companies in the world and revered as a living national treasure. Few ballet companies rival the company in size, scope, and outreach.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 757-282-2822, or in person at the Virginia Arts Festival Box Office window (Monday-Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm).

In its March 2022 Virginia Arts Festival engagement, the company will perform one of the most beloved full-length works in the ballet repertoire, Don Quixote. Based on Miguel de Cervantes’ sweeping tale of romance and chivalry, this classic ballet features the misadventures of the knight-errant of la Mancha and his devoted squire, Sancho Panza. From the bravura dancing of the fiery toreador Espada to the colorful caravan of gypsies, the stage explodes with one show-stopping performance after another in this feast of choreographic fireworks.

“Don Quixote lights up the stage with virtuoso dancing, unforgettable music, and visually stunning stage magic,” said Virginia Arts Festival Perry Artistic Director Robert W. Cross. “I can’t think of a more spectacular way to celebrate the Festival’s 25th Anniversary than this great ballet classic.”

“I am thrilled to bring the artists of American Ballet Theatre to Chrysler Hall in March,” said American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “It will be a special honor to help usher in the 25th Anniversary of the Virginia Arts Festival with ABT’s high-spirited production of Don Quixote.” The tale of Don Quixote has appeared again and again, from Cervantes’ 1605 original to the 1869 ballet to the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, and dozens of film versions of the story including the 1972 film adaptation of the musical starring Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren and James Coco.

Ludwig Minkus’s score for the ballet is bursting with bravura flourishes, high-kicking music that simply begs to be danced to—and audiences will experience the rare opportunity to hear it performed live, as the full Virginia Symphony Orchestra accompanies the ballet in the pit. Originally created by the great choreographer Marius Petipa for Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet in 1869, American Ballet Theatre’s production of Don Quixote was staged by Artistic Director Kevin Mackenzie and features gorgeous costumes and sets by Tony Award-winning designer Santo Loquasto (Hello, Dolly!) and lighting by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Disney’s Aida, An American in Paris).

This staging of the beloved ballet premiered in 2014 to international acclaim. The London Observer raved “Here is a ballet with a coherent story, a colorful cast of characters, a score that throws off one irresistible tune after another. Dancers spill out onto the stage—principals, soloists, demi-soloists, corps. The audience, me included, was crazy about them. By the time it was all over, everyone was happy…. It’s a great show.” The New York Times wrote “With its myriad acrobatic feats — one-arm lifts! dizzying fouetté turns! — Don Quixote could trade its setting from a theater to a circus tent without skipping a beat.”

Virginia Arts Festival American Ballet Theatre Don Quixote Score Performed Live by Virginia Symphony Orchestra Friday, March 25, 2022, 7:30pm Saturday, March 26, 2022, 7:30pm Sunday, March 27, 2022, 2:30pm Chrysler Hall, Norfolk Tickets $25-$90 Virginia Arts Festival performances will follow CDC and/or state/local recommendations regarding health and safety. Please check the website at for current information at the time of the performance. Virginia Arts Festival is committed to flexibility for ticket-holders. If an event is canceled or postponed, the Festival offers flexible exchanges to another event, exchanges for a gift certificate for future performance, the opportunity to support the Festival through a donation of the value of your tickets, or a full refund. About the Virginia Arts Festival Since 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival has transformed the cultural scene in southeastern Virginia, presenting great performers from around the world to local audiences and making this historic, recreation-rich region a cultural destination for visitors from across the United States and around the world. The Festival has presented numerous U.S. and regional premieres, and regularly commissions new works of music, dance, and theater from some of today’s most influential composers, choreographers and playwrights. The Festival’s arts education programs reach tens of thousands of area schoolchildren each year through student matinees, in-school performances, artists’ residencies, master classes and demonstrations. American Ballet Theatre is one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Revered as a national treasure since its founding season in 1940, its mission is to create, present, preserve, and extend the great repertoire of classical dancing for the widest possible audience. Headquartered in New York City, ABT is the only cultural institution of its size and stature to extensively tour, enchanting audiences for eight decades in 50 US states, 45 countries, and over 480 cities worldwide. ABT’s repertoire includes full-length classics from the nineteenth century, the finest works from the early twentieth century, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces. In 2006, by an act of Congress, ABT became America’s National Ballet Company®. Find out more at and follow ABT dancers at @abtofficial on Instagram, on Twitter at @ABTBallet, and on Facebook at @AmericanBalletTheatre.

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