In a day and a half, the Royal New Zealand Ballet will premiere Liam Scarlett's brand new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Wellington. Tonia Looker will dance the role of Titania and will most likely sweep everyone into the dream and off their feet. She reminds us of Tina LeBlanc who was a magical Titania for the Joffrey Ballet a few decades ago. Richmond, Virginia native MacLean Hopper who attended the North Carolina School of the Arts will be Oberon.
Tracy Lord Grant has designed the costumes and sets, the latter of which include more than 4000 LED lights and over 2,000 metres of illuminated fibre optics cable to create this effect:
Here's a little promo that gives a glimpse of the costumes and movement:
Haglund was just thinking about how nice it would be to see Ashton's The Dream (with the old costumes and a new Titania named Stella) on a bill with Balanchine's Symphonie Concertante for ABT's spring season. Everyone would stay for the whole show and might even come back for second and third helpings. (We keep mentioning Balanchine's Symphonie Concertante because ABT is still using a photo of it on the LA Music Center's website to advertise it's July 2016 program out there without mentioning it by name. Buyer beware.)
Nobody who knows ballet wants to see that awful mis-Firebird again at the Met. Total misfire. And Seven Sonatas, as lovely as it is, isn't going to entice people to their seats, either, especially if ABT has already asked them that week to sit through all three individual ballets that make up the Shostakovich Trilogy. Yes, ABT loves Ratmansky - and the audience likes him, too - but please don't tank a week of rep just to demonstrate artistic loyalty.
Speaking of The Dream and that really funny scene with Hermia and Helena fighting, here's a clip – oh no, what a tragic mistake, sorry – this clip isn't from The Dream; it's from Ratmansky's The Golden Cockerel at the Royal Danish Ballet which will be presented this spring by ABT (see charming poem seven posts below.) We were just fooled by that Hermia-Helena look alike moment. The clip seems very Bright Streamish in places, but we will not allow ourselves to pre-judge. No, we won't. No siree Bob.