Get our free newsletter
You might expect only the most traditional performances to come out of London’s prestigious Royal Ballet. After all, the company’s president does double duty as the Prince of Wales, and he’s just second in command to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who serves as “patron.” But in recent years, the Royal Ballet has reimagined the dance form by commissioning new works and broadcasting cinematic renditions of classics to audiences who might not normally venture to the Royal Opera House. Case in point: the version of Don Quixote the company’s brought to the Kennedy Center. The original ballet, inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel, debuted in the late 19th century, and Royal Ballet principal guest artist Carlos Acosta has danced it several times. But when he adapted the piece in 2013, Cuban-born Acosta added some distinctly Spanish elements. Don Quixote kicks off a summer tour for the Royal Ballet, but more notably, it marks Acosta’s farewell to the stage: He’s announced that he’ll retire from ballet next summer. The Royal Ballet performs June 9 to June 14 at the Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW. $30–$155. (202) 467-4600. kennedy-center.org.