In a production that pays homage to the film that brought ballet to the big screen, the set design is a pivotal character, supporting the narrative, the music and of course the dancers within it. In fact, in a melding of mediums, The Australian Ballet’s Don Quixote incorporates elements of the film in its opening sequence, projecting film credits across Gustave Dore’s original etchings. Speaking with set designer for the 2023 production of Don Quixote, Richard Roberts, “David (Hallberg) had said, we want to use the film as a springboard, and I said, well, why don't we start as if it is a film?”
In doing so, the transition between prologue and act one brings a contemporary element to the ballet while reflecting on the productions’ history.
“For those that have no knowledge of the film at all, it would be an interesting way to begin a ballet. For those that know the film, they will recognise it immediately” says Roberts.