Five Shows Left for PNB’s Latest
What better way to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) than to take yourself somewhere warm. If tropical climes are neither in your schedule nor budget, then it’s time to think of creative alternatives – alternatives that make you think of warmth, or take you to warm places, if only in your mind.
Take William Shakespeare’s 1590′s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that has been adapted for the ballet and runs from April 8th to the 17th, 2011, at the Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB), for example. Ticket prices range from $27-$165, depending on the seat and section. Five shows remain, starting tomorrow: 7:30 p.m. performances this Thursday (April 14th), Friday (April 15th) and Saturday (April 16th), with a 2:00 p.m. matinée show on Saturday (April 16th) and a 1:00 p.m. matinée show on Sunday (April 17th). (Your Hedonista recently attended as media.)
This ballet – with music by Felix Mendelssohn (overture and incidental music to A Midsummer’ Night’s Dream, Op. 21 and 61, 1826; Overtures to Athalie, Op. 74, 1845; and The Fair Melusine, Op. 32, 1833; The First Walpurgis Night, Op. 60 (1831/1842); the first three movements of Symphony No. 9 for Strings, 1823; and Overture to Son and Stranger, Op. 89, 1829) and choreography by the brilliant George Balanchine (1904-1983) of The George Balanchine Trust – is another of the PNB’s fantastically fanciful creations. With its New York City Ballet premiere on January 17th, 1962, its PNB premiere took place on May 16, 1985, with a new production on May 27, 1997. This latter production has toured at the Edinburgh International Festival (1998); the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London (1999), where it was filmed by the BBC for HD-TV; the International Instanbul Music Festival; the Hong Kong International Arts Carnival (2000); and the Hollywood Bowl (2002).
This month’s performance includes approximately 100 dancers – including 48 PNB company performers, with the rest of dancers either PNB Professional Division students or PNB School students (which include 25 children). It is pure magic that’s suitable for all ages. Whenever I attend the ballet, I am always amazed at the level of athleticism and discipline required to pull off such a show. What’s more, they generally seem to perform it with such grace and ease you’d think they never even busted a sweat (not true, or so I’m told). Sure, the odd turn is not as precise as it could have been or a leap perhaps didn’t land just so, but given the fact the performance takes place in two acts and six scenes – the first act tells the story of Shakespeare’s famous play (which I saw in its entirety), while the second act covers the wedding scene (which I did not stay for) and is all total approximately two hours long, including intermission – the stamina involved is truly admirable. What’s more, in this performance the tween performers are tasked with their own corps de ballet. In sum, this performance is worth seeing, regardless of whether or not you have little ones to take with you.
It’s also worth noting that the PNB is also becoming tech-savvy; you can check out their webcast previews of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – which include the pre-performance lecture and performer interviews – as well as download their recently-launched PNB Mobile, which is a mobile application that can be used with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad to get all the information they need for PNB performances, including ticket purchases and traffic conditions in and around the Seattle Center area.