The soaring jumps, the liquid backs, the hundreds of amazing dancers are all part of what makes Russia's Bolshoi Ballet one of the world's great companies. Few ballets showcase the outsized nature of this institution like the full-length Don Quixote. With his trusty squire, Sancho Panza, the errant knight Don Quixote pursues Kitri, the innkeeper's beguiling daughter, who is also pursued by her father, a foppish aristocrat and Kitri's true love, the poor, but ardent barber Basil. The three acts are filled with bullfighters, Gypsies and the requisite windmill, but the spotlight always returns to the lovers Kitri and Basil. Fans have two sets of stars to choose from, starting with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vassiliev opening night and both matinees, followed by Maria Alexandrova and Mikhail Loubukhin for the rest of evening performances. All are major players, but Osipova was a wow at last year's OCPAC gala, and she had New York critics drooling during recent guest performances with American Ballet Theater.
Feb. 24-27, 7:30 p.m.; Feb. 27-28, 2 p.m., 2010