Don Quixote by The Australian Ballet

2020 Digital Season | 03 September 2020

Expires 5pm (AEST) Thursday 24 September 2020 

This production is brought to you free by our Production Partner Herbert Smith Freehills


Rudolf Nureyev’s 1973 film of Don Quixote is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever ballet films and a cinematic achievement in its own right. Directed and choreographed by the Russian superstar, the film was shot in a hangar at Melbourne’s Essendon Airport and featured The Australian Ballet, putting the young company on the international map.  

This gem was lost to the world for 25 years but has since been painstakingly restored. It stars the legendary Rudolf Nureyev and Lucette Aldous in the virtuoso principal roles, and Robert Helpmann (Nureyev’s co-director) as Don Quixote. The film opens in the market square of Barcelona, enlivened with live donkeys, pigeons and chickens, and moves into a delicate dream sequence of pastel tutus and courtly love before returning for the jubilant wedding scene with its grand pas de deux.  

With its timeless love story and stirring Spanish-flavoured music, Don Quixote has stood the test of time as one of the world’s most popular ballets. In this film version, we see it in intoxicating close-up.

Read our 2013 program to find out more about the story.


Production Credits 

Robert Helpmann as Don Quixote
Ray Powell as Sancho Panza
Rudolf Nureyev as Basilio
Francis Croese as Lorenzo
Lucette Aldous as Kitri / Dulcinea
Colin Peasley as Gamache
With Marilyn Rowe, Kelvin Coe, Janet Vernon, Gary Norman and artists of The Australian Ballet

Director Rudolph Nureyev / Robert Helpmann
Producer John Hargreaves
Choreography Rudolph Nureyev after Marius Petipa
Music Ludwig Minkus, arr. John Lanchbery
Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth

With State Orchestra of Victoria
(now known as Orchestra Victoria) 
Conductor John Lanchbery

With thanks to International Arts for access to the remastered and restored version of Rudolf Nureyev's (1973) Don Quixote.


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Learn more about our 2020 Digital Season: At Home with Ballet TV.