San Jose Dance Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream Returns Live Classical Ballet

09/18/2021

First Live Classical Ballet Performance Since the Start of the Pandemic

Fans of classical ballet hungry for live performances during the pandemic can feast their eyes and ears on San Jose Dance Theatre Company's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Billed as the first live classical ballet since the pandemic began, the piece is choreographed by Linda Hurkmans, the company's Artistic Director.

San Jose Dance Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Kyle Adler
San Jose Dance Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Kyle Adler

Based on one of William Shakespeare's most popular plays, the ballet follows the comical adventures of four lovers and a group of amateur actors who enter an enchanted forest where mischievous fairies cast spells over them. This classic story has been reimagined for the classical ballet stage and set to Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" score.

"I have always wanted to bring such an iconic production to San Jose and am excited to also showcase this ballet for Santa Cruz audiences," said Linda Hurkmans. "Mendelssohn's score for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' has always inspired me as a choreographer. The score truly captures the story and provides an ideal backdrop for classical movement."

Originally choreographed by George Balanchine, A Midsummer Night's Dream was first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1962 at the City Center in New York, with Arthur Mitchell as Puck, Jillana as Helena, Edward Villella as Oberon, and Melissa Hayden as Titania. Because Mendelssohn did not write music for the entirety of Shakespeare's play, Balanchine selected other scores of Mendelssohn's that fit the danced action. It was one of Balanchine's favorite works.

To enhance the enchantment, San Jose Dance Theatre is offering The Midsummer VIP Package that includes a pre-performance talk on the performance, an up-close view of the magic of the production, and a pre-performance meet-and-greet with the cast at the exclusive Fairy Kingdom Party held in the foyer.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is playing at the Montgomery Theatre, San Jose September 25 - 26, and at the Cabrillo Crocker Theatre, Santa Cruz on October 2, 2021. For more information and tickets see https://www.sjdt.org/season-2021-2022/.