Safe Haven Ballet presents “Don Quixote”

The state's first full-length premiere of this classic is coming to the Portsmouth Music Hall's stage

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The talented team of artists at Safe Haven Ballet is back for another incredible performance at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Full of dazzling costumes, music and choreography and based on the classic novel “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes,” the three-act ballet tells the tale of Don Quixote’s quest to find his love and, ultimately, his aspiration to help Kitri marry the man of her heart.

We reached out to Artistic Director Lissa Curtis to learn more about this enchanting production.

Why “Don Quixote?” What is the premise of the play?
Curtis: “The ballet ‘Don Quixote’ is based off the literary novel ‘Don Quixote de La Mancha.’ The ballet is a mere snapshot of the novel and follows the journey of Don Quixote, who thinks he is a knight, and his squire Sancho Panza, as they try to find Don Quixote’s Dulcinea, or the ideal woman. Along the way in Barcelona, Don Quixote ends up helping other couples find love amidst many dance celebrations, goofy characters and other high-spirited fun. ‘Don Quixote’ is full of joy and humor and that’s a huge reason why we chose it in this pandemic year.”

Tell us more about your cast of dancers.
Curtis: “The cast is comprised of guest artists from within New England and beyond, as well as other local artists, actors, children and survivors. You won’t find a more dedicated and hard working cast anywhere else.”

What can people expect to see when they see the performance?
Curtis: “They can expect to be surprised by this high energy, heart warming and fun loving ballet! It is not very often that the audience would find themselves laughing, clapping and cheering on their favorite characters. The performance opens both acts with a monologue from the Dulcinea, so if you know nothing about the story, you will be able to follow along.”

How can people support you going forward?
Curtis: “There are so many ways to support SHB! Come see our performances and bring your friends, enter our annual corn hole tournament, register yourself and your kids to take classes, follow us on social media and, of course, hit the donate button on our website to simply give to our cause.”

Do you have anything else excited planned for 2021?
Curtis: “We have so much planned. We are moving into One Washington Center in Dover in April, and we are getting ready to launch a pre-processional ballet school in addition to growing our trauma sensitive program. In May we are holding a grand opening for our new space and announcing our very first professional company artists who will be training and working with SHB. In June we have our third annual corn hole tournament in Dover. In October we are doing our very first black tie gala, which will have live music, SHB company dance excerpts, food and more. And to finish out the year we are planing to return for the second year in a row to The Music Hall for our full length ‘Nutcracker.'”

The Story Behind Safe Haven Ballet:

Safe Haven Ballet is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Dover. It’s purpose is to serve the community with trauma-sensitive ballet, art and movement classes for survivors of sexual assault. Proceeds from performances and events go toward funding classes free of charge to those in need.

Director Lissa Curtis created Safe Haven Ballet to help fellow survivors. Curtis was repeatedly raped by her former ballet coach while competing in ballet internationally. She experienced years of torment after the initial trauma, and found that in addition to talk therapy and medication, movement was an important part of her journey to healing.

To read more about Lissa Curtis, visit our 2018 IT List

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