Amazing! The Joffrey Ballet Presents Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Auditorium Theatre (May 3, 2018)

Although it shares its name with one of Shakespeare’s plays, it has nothing to do with the bard. This is a full ballet choreographed by Alexander Ekman about Sweden’s ode to the summer solstice. The world premiere was on April 15, 2015, at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. These performances are its North American premier.

To start, a man is sleeping on the far left of the stage in a small bed as the audience files in to their seats. When showtime arrives, an alarm goes off. After a few seconds, he reaches out and turns off the alarm. But he continues to lie there, not wanting to get up. This is a fun introduction that sets the scene for a fun show. Soon thereafter, he joins the festivities of the town. Everyone is celebrating the arrival of summer in a bunch of hay that covers the entire stage. They are throwing it around all in sync. It’s quite a spectacle to see. Later on, a huge group comes out all underneath a square canopy tent. Wherever the canopy goes, they all run to stay underneath it in a very joyful manner.

This whole scene is very reminiscent of the choreographer’s previous piece created for the Joffrey, “Joy”. It was part of Global Visionaries last May. In both pieces, Alexander Ekman mixes comedy and dancing expertly. He also is able to display happiness and delight so well on stage. Everyone has a smile on their face, from the audience to the stage.

Midsummer 5_Photo by Cheryl Mann

Photos by Cheryl Mann

The second half also begins with the man sleeping in the bed. However, this time, we explore his dreams. It’s a crazy and strange dream filled with headless dancers, giant fish, and floating tables. It’s wild, it’s bizarre, it’s modern ballet!

The singing by Anna von Hausswolff is fantastic. Her voice is so powerful and emotional. She is very well known in Sweden. Her album, Singing from the Grave was a top five hit on the Swedish albums chart. In addition, the dancers are phenomenal. Every single one of them is so graceful and talented and they all come together with style in this amazing production.

Get tickets now for Midsummer Night’s Dream through Sunday!

Quinn Delaney

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