Indianapolis Ballet presents: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Indianapolis Ballet will close out its 2018 debut season in style at The Toby at Newfields with three performances featuring A Midsummer Night’s Dream from May 18-20.
Indianapolis Ballet is proud to have The National Bank of Indianapolis serve as the Presenting Residency Partner of our May production.
Click the buttons to secure the best seats for our upcoming weekend at The Toby at Newfields – the Official Performance Residency Partner of Indianapolis Ballet – and continue below for ticket details and full program notes for the May residency.
Tickets for the May residency are now on sale via our ticketing partner, EventBrite. Please click the buttons below to secure your seats for each night’s performance:
Students (K-12 & college): $20/$25/$30
Seniors (65 & over): $20/$25/$30
Questions regarding tickets? Please call Indianapolis Ballet at 317-955-7525 for more details or to order by phone.
Much like its celebrated opening in February, the final residency of Indianapolis Ballet’s 2018 debut season at The Toby at Newfields will weave together another blend of diverse repertoire. The three residency performances taking place May 18-20 will open with the debut of Éclat!, a new work set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev, and move on to the famed Don Quixote Grand Pas de Deux before ending with Shakespeare’s famed comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The opening repertoire of the production will be the premiere of this original work choreographed by Indianapolis Ballet founding artistic director Victoria Lyras. The new work is inspired by and set to the third movement of Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26, which began taking shape with the creation of a theme and variation in 1913 but went unfinished until 1921, when Prokofiev debuted the work with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Prokofiev achieved part of his notoriety as a composer via his utilization of dissonance, and that quality certainly comes through in his third piano concerto. Prokofiev referred to this third movement, Allegra, ma non troppo, as an “argument” between the soloist and orchestra, and the virtuosic qualities of the interplay between the piano and various instruments will be reflected in the energetic choreography on stage.
Miguel de Cervantes penned Don Quixote de la Mancha more than 400 years ago, and the earliest staging of the story in ballet form has been credited to Austrian Franz Hilverding in 1740. It was the Frenchman Marius Petipa who created the most famous and enduring ballet adaptation of the story in partnership with composer Ludwig Minkus, first produced for the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow in four acts and eight scenes in 1869 and expanded to five acts and eleven scenes two years later for a production staged on the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg.
Most modern productions, however, are based on Alexander Gorsky’s 1902 revival of Petipa’s Don Quixote. The primary difference is the story’s focus on the characters Kitri and Basilio rather than the title character, Don Quixote, who was the central figure in Petipa’s stagings. Their Grand Pas de Deux (also referred to as the “Wedding Pas de Deux”) is the ballet’s main highlight – and this is indeed the excerpt staged by Indianapolis Ballet.
(Notes crafted from language by The Marius Petipa Society, per petipasociety.com)
Indianapolis Ballet’s production of the Shakespearean tale of love and folly is choreographed by its founding artistic director, Victoria Lyras, and inspired by great masters such as New York City Ballet’s George Balanchine and British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, who created his one-act version titled The Dream for The Royal Ballet in London. Famed 19th century German composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn’s concert overture (Opus 21) and incidental music (Opus 61) – which he composed at the ripe old age of 17 – provide the colorful and compelling musical score for the production (though Balanchine’s version is a full-length ballet that uses additional music by Mendelssohn).
A famous quote from the play, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” sets the stage for this “dream” of unrealistic happenings, crossed loves, fairies, follies, forest chases leading to confusion, and magic spells woven with mischief.
The story begins with two Athenian couples. Lysander loves Hermia, and Hermia loves Lysander. Helena loves Demetrius, and while Demetrius used to love Helena, he now loves Hermia. Overwhelmed by the conflict, a frustrated and despairing Hermia escapes Athens by heading into the forest with Lysander. Demetrius pursues the couple, himself pursued by Helena.
In this enchanted, moonlit forest, Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies, are experiencing their own drama, locked in a dispute concerning a young Page in Titania’s court who she refuses to hand over. Oberon, annoyed and spiteful, sends his sprite, Puck, through the night to find the magic “love-in-idleness” flower that will make Titania fall in love with the first living creature she sees. Oberon himself sprinkles on the magic love drops on Queen Titania’s eyelids as she sleeps, intending humiliation by making her fall in love with a creature of the forest.
As Lysander and Hermia – and Helena and Demetrius – stray deeper into the woods, Oberon watches the mortals and takes pity on the rejected Helena. When Puck returns, Oberon orders him to sprinkle more drops of the magic flower into Demetrius’ eyes so that he will fall in love with Helena. Puck, however, makes the mistake of putting the drops on the eyelids of Lysander instead. Helena stumbles over Lysander in the forest, and the spell is cast; Lysander now desires Helena and renounces a stunned Hermia.
In the midst of this chaos, a group of rustic villagers – the “rude mechanicals” – amble into the forest. The three carousing characters – Bottom, Quince, and Starveling – are comic relief to the lovers’ drama we’ve just experienced. Puck watches them and decides to play a prank on Bottom after he strays from the group, casting a spell that transforms Bottom’s head into one of a donkey.
The sleeping Titania awakens and the first thing she sees is the transformed Bottom … and it is indeed love at first sight for the Queen! Utter confusion reigns until Oberon takes pity on the confused lovers and orders Puck to make things right. The mortals are properly paired, Bottom is restored to human form, and Titania and Oberon are reconciled.