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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Now that Spring is in full swing, and lusty May is upon us, the mating season is officially open, and what better way to celebrate such shenanigans than the Colorado Ballet's stellar production of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

In commissioning Christopher Wheeldon to create this story for them in 1997, the Colorado Ballet showed a great deal of faith in the then fledgling choreographer. They were well rewarded. Wheeldon's production is not only faithful to the play, but takes what can be a confusing plot—of lovers falling in and out of love with their partners and other partners' partners—and, with the selective use of mime, expressive movement, and brief summaries to open each act, clarifies the action.

Combining a broad sense of humor with inventive storytelling and marvelous flying effects that enhance Felix Mendelssohn's famous score, Wheeldon's ballet effortlessly invokes the magical world of fairies and dreams come true—a genre that, in fact, can be traced back to this Shakespearean tale.

From the moment that Puck sails in through the trees until the lovers are united to the tunes of Mendelssohn's stately wedding march and Oberon and Titania are reunited, we are seamlessly transported back to mythical Athens and its surrounding woods.

The elegant Maria Mosina and the stately Igor Vassin, as Oberon and Titania, take our breath away with their regal entrance and otherworldly costumes, and keep us enthralled with their alternately humorous and soulful encounters, culminating in the final heartfelt pas de deux.

The four lovers, Michelle Dolighan, Chandra Gercke, Shunsuke Amma, and Zhuang Hua are delightfully campy and they chase one another's tails in circles, wrestling with each other and their mercurial affections.

Sharon Wehner's Peaseblossom and Staci Kinkead's and Leslie Morton's Demi Fairies spin off scintillating baubles of virtuosity, in stark, yet telling, contrast to Andrew Thompson's earthy Bottom.

The cast is supplemented with the crowd-pleasing addition of two dozen children in the roles of fairies, cupids, and sprites.

The Colorado Ballet's fanciful production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, runs through May 12th. 303-893-4100.

 

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