Choreography John Neumeier. Music Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy / György Ligeti.

Ballet in two acts and a prologue after William Shakespeare (1977)

recommended for 10 years and older
Van Cleef & Arpels

Why have composers and choreographers been fascinated for decades by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Maybe it is the historical period of the play, maybe the caste system, maybe the versatile stylistic means of writing and the tangled plot? Fairy tale characters like Oberon and Titania fight sensual and witty battles, next to figures from Greek mythology, such as Theseus and Hippolyta which cause great confusion in the life of a clumsy craftsman and a group of lovers from present times.

Choreographer John Neumeier created his version of Sommernachtstraum in 1977 and the piece has been a steady part of the Bayerisches Staatsballett's repertory. It was first performed in 1993. Proof lies in its unique and thoughtful, virtuosic approach to developing drama. After all, the complex mixture of musical layers would be worth a separate panel discussion. Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's atmospheric musical score for Sommernachtstraum reflects the world of the mortals, while Györgi Ligeti's siren-esque organ pieces bring to mind the fairy kingdom depicted in Shakespeare's play. The craftsmen's dance is underlined by dominant opera paraphrases for the barrel organ which satirize even the noblest melodies. As with the musical layers, together with his stage- and costume designer Jürgen Rose, Neumeier mixes the historical settings cleverly. What would be more suited to the sounds of Mendelsohn's score than a sweet Biedermeier set? An olive tree is a perfect symbol of the antique, mythology and fairy tales in one. John Neumeier's A Midsummer Night’s Dream always has been a wonderful representation of an full-length classical ballet made in the later half of the 20th century, the 1970s in Germany. 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Ensemble c) Serghei GherciuA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Ensemble c) Wilfried HöslA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - António Casalinho c) Serghei Geherciu A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Ensemble c) HöslA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Kristina Lind c) HöslA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Ksenia Ryzhkova, Emilio Pavan, Yonah Acosta c) Katja LotterA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Ensemble c) Katja LotterA MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Konstantin Ivkin c) Katja Lotter