Columbia Classical Ballet opens new season with ballet masterpiece

The first performance of the Columbia Classical Ballet season, Don Quixote, will showcase the company’s many dancers from around the world in a ballet that calls for exquisite dance technique and superb acting to tell a story full of love and laughter. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11 at the Koger Center.

This will be the first time the Classical Ballet has staged Don Quixote, which was created by Marius Petipa, the choreographer also behind Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. By doing both Don Quixote and the season-closing Sleeping Beauty – another first for the Classical Ballet – the company is taking on two large, demanding classical ballets that reveal the great strides the company has made recently.

“You don’t do these ballets unless you have dancers with the ability to do them well,” said Radenko Pavlovich, Classical Ballet artistic director. “We didn’t want to do these until we had built a large and solid company. We want to give Columbia first-rate dance, and we don’t underestimate the audience’s knowledge and appreciation of good dance.”

The Classical Ballet has 53 well-trained dancers from around the world – up from about 35 last season. The dancers from Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and throughout the U.S. have trained at top schools, and many are medalists at international ballet competitions.

The roles of Kitri and Basiolio will be danced by two award-winning dancers new to the company – Sakura Oka and Kota Fujishima, both natives of Japan.

Fujishima won the silver medal in the senior male division of the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition held in New York in July and followed that with a gold medal in the All Japan Ballet Competition. Oka won the American Dance Competition Grand Prix Prize in 2013, the silver at the Valentina Kozlova competition in 2013 and silver in the Japan Grand Prix in 2012.

Matthew Waters, who is from South Carolina and in his fifth season with the company, will perform the title role. Zoltan Boros, a native of Hungary also in his fifth season, will fill the role of Gamache.

The ballet, with music by Ludwig Minkus (Le Bayadere and La Source), premiered in 1869, and the choreography was refined and revised in 1902 by Alexander Gorsky.

“We’ll of course be true to the original choreography and music, but dancers today can do so much more than dancers could 100 years ago,” Pavlovich said.

For season subscriptions, starting at only $130, contact the Classical Ballet at (803) 252-9112 or email Individual tickets are available through Capitol Tickets or by calling (803) 251-2222.

For more information visit

Via: Columbia Classical Ballet