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A Midsummer Night's Dream • Ballet


  • 24 May 2015, 20:00


JOHN NEUMEIER A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ballet by John Neumeier after Wiliam Shakespeare
Music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, György Ligeti and traditional mechanical music

Print programme (PDF)


The balletic interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, about amorous confusions, both in real life and in the
fantastical world of the fairies, is one of John Neumeier’s wittiest and most humorous productions. Since its creation in 1977 for the Hamburg Ballet, this production has now been seen on some of the world’s most important stages. In John Neumeier’s work, it is not Bottom, but Hippolyta who dreams and is thus transformed into Titania as she sleeps, with her fiancé Theseus as Oberon at her side. And in dreams, we are permitted to abandon ourselves to secret or suppressed desires and longings. A misty grove of silvery olive trees provides the atmospheric setting for the ballet.
According to Hartmut Regitz, “John Neumeier has separated the levels of consciousness of his Midsummer Night’s Dream more distinctly than is possible in theatre performances. While the real comedy figures are defined by their Empire costumes and Mendelssohn’s music, the compositions of György Ligeti create a timelessly unreal atmosphere that could not be better suited to the dreamlike apparitions of pale-skinned phantoms. The mechanicals, on the other hand, move in a mechanistic musical world symbolised by the barrel organ. Neumeier’s deft choreography is appropriately nuanced. Especially the pas de quatre danced by the two pairs of lovers has moments of brilliance.”