Is there a better way to end the spring season than with George Balanchine’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”? If so, I can’t think of it. Mendelssohn’s music, with its breathless forward drive, pulls one immediately into the story. (In this, it is reminiscent of “The Nutcracker” score.) George Balanchine’s choreography is equally transporting. From the first moment, as a flurry of tiny butterflies and fairies—beautifully-trained kids from the School of American Ballet—skitters across the stage, we are drawn into Shakespeare’s world. The spell lasts until the end of the first act, when all the characters, both human and magical, make peace with each other and harmony is restored. The second act is a celebration. But in the ballet’s final moments, the scene dissolves, and we are once again in the forest, surrounded by tiny creatures skittering on their fast-moving feet, fireflies peeking through the trees. The transition is magical.
Emily Gerrity as Titania in “A Midsummer Night's Dream” by George Balanchine. Photograph by Erin Baiano
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading