Irene Apiné and Jury Gotshalks as Kitri and Basilio in the Pas de Deux from Don Quixote (ca. 1953). Photo by Ballard and Jarrett.
Artistic Director Celia Franca added Marius Petipa’s famous Don Quixote Pas De Deux to the repertoire one month after The National Ballet of Canada’s founding. The Pas De Deux was first performed by husband and wife pairing Irene Apiné and Jury Gotshalks on December 10, 1951 at the Forest Hill Community Centre.
In 1953, the National Ballet was invited to perform at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the longest running international summer dance festival in the United States. This marked The National Ballet of Canada’s American debut and saw the company perform an array of ballets, including the Don Quixote Pas De Deux featuring Apiné and Gotshalks reprising their roles as Kitri and Basilio. The National Ballet of Canada returned to the prestigious festival only once more in 1957.
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