Anastasia Matvienko and Denis Matvienko (both with Mariinsky Theatre) and corps de ballet of the Yakobson Ballet Theatre in Pas de Deux from Don Quixote, music by Ludwig Minkus, choreography by Alexander Alexeyevich Gorsky.
Anastasia Matvienko was born at 1982 in Sevastopol, Ukraine. From 1996 to 2001 Anastasia studied at Kiev state choreographic school. From April 2001 to October 2007 she was the first soloist of National opera and ballet theatre of Ukraine. From October 2007 to March 2009 Anastasia was a principal dancer of Opera and Ballet Mikhailovsky, St.Petersburg, Russia. March 2009 Anastasia became a first soloist of Mariinsky Theatre, St.Petersburg, Russia.
Denis Matvienko was born in 1979 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Since 1989 to 1997 he was studied at Kiev State Choreographic School. At June 1997 became the principal ballet-dancer of National opera and ballet theatre of Ukraine. From March 2001 to March 2002 he worked at Mariinsky Theatre (St. Petersburg) as the leading ballet-dancer. At January 2003 Denis retuned to Kiev state theatre of opera and ballet as principal dancer. From October 2007 to March 2009 Denis was a principal dancer of Mikhailovsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia. Starting from March 2009 – principal dancer of Mariinsky Theatre, St.Petersburg, Russia.
Don Quixote was brought from Russia to other countries first by Anna Pavlova’s company in 1924 in an abridged version of Gorsky’s 1902 production, though the full-length work was not staged abroad for many years. The famous Grand Pas de Deux from the ballet’s final scene was staged in the west as early as the 1940s. The first full revival of the original Russian production to be staged in the West was by Ballet Rambert in 1962. In 1966 Rudolf Nureyev staged his version for the Vienna State Opera Ballet, with Minkus’ score adapted by John Lanchbery. In 1973, Nureyev filmed his version with the Australian Ballet, and Robert Helpmann as Don Quixote. Mikhail Baryshnikov mounted his own version in 1980 for American Ballet Theatre, a production that has been staged by many companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet.
Alexander Gorsky (1871–1924), a Russian ballet choreographer and a contemporary of Marius Petipa, is known for restaging Petipa’s classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and The Nutcracker. Gorsky “sought greater naturalism, realism, and characterization” in ballet. He valued acting skills over bravura technique.
Photos by Jack Devant © with kind permission of the Dance Open, special thanks to Ekaterina Galanova, Julia Martina, Daria Donova and Adelia Mukhamedzhanova.