Ninety-five Dancers from Colorado Youth Ballet and Colorado Ballet Society’s Pre Professional Division will be presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Touch of Class at the Ent Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 6, at 2:00pm and 6:00pm, bringing to life Shakespeare’s timeless classic in two performances.
“Each time we have performed Midsummer in our community, it has received a very warm response” says Colorado Ballet Society and Colorado Youth Ballet founder and director, Patricia Hoffman. “Our dancers endeavor to portray all the cleverness of Shakespeare and represent the mischievousness, joy, and ups and downs of life, drawing the viewer right into the story.”
A Midsummer Night's Dream features senior youth ballet members Emma Michaux as Titania, Queen of the Fairies, Molly Ledbetter as Helena, Gabriella Vidano as Hermia, Ford Tackett as Demetrius, and Jared Guest as Lysander. CBS Instructor Daniel Prewitt is in the role of Oberon, King of the Fairies; Dan Brown plays Puck; and Jesse Nordeen is featured at Bottom.
William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is a timeless comedy, complete with mischief, fun and romance, danced to the lyrical composition of Felix Mendelssohn.
There are two stories being told; the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of country rustics who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. And in a parallel plot line, Oberon, king of the fairies, and Titania, his queen, are beset in competition and trickery for a young Changeling. Oberon calls upon "Puck" his "shrewd and knavish sprite", to find a magical flower, whose juice when applied to the eyelids of a sleeping person cause that person upon waking to fall in love with the first living thing they see. He instructs Puck to retrieve the flower with the hope that he may trick Titania into falling in love with a donkey.
As we meet the four young lovers, we see that Hermia and Lysander have escaped to the forest, while Helena continually is making advances towards Demetrius, who also has set his mind on winning Hermia's love. Observing this, Oberon orders Puck to spread some of the magical juice from the flower on the eyelids of Demetrius. Instead, Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, not having actually seen either before, and administers the juice to the sleeping Lysander. Helena accidently awakens him, and Lysander immediately falls in love with her. Lysander immediately falls in love with Helena. Helena, thinking Lysander is playing a trick on her, runs away with Lysander following her. Oberon sees Demetrius still following Hermia and is enraged. Oberon sends Puck to get Helena after he first charms Demetrius' eyes. Upon waking up, he sees Helena. Now, both men are in love with Helena. Hermia accuses Helena of stealing Lysander away from her and tries to attack Helena. Oberon orders Puck to remove the charm from Lysander so Lysander can return to love Hermia, while Demetrius continues to love Helena.
Meanwhile, the rustics have ventured into the forest near Titania's bower. Bottom is spotted by Puck, who transforms his head into that of a donkey. Upon seeing this the other rustics run away screaming in fright. Titania, having received the juice from the magic flower, is awakened and immediately falls in love with Bottom. She lavishes him with the attention of herself and her fairies. After a time, Oberon releases Titania from the spell and orders Puck to remove the donkey's head from Bottom, and arranges everything so Helena, Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander will all believe they have been dreaming when they awaken. Eventually, all four find themselves separately falling asleep in the glade. Once they fall asleep, Puck administers the love potion to Lysander again, returning his love to Hermia again, and claiming all will be well in the morning.
This will be the third time Colorado Ballet Society dancers have performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in our community. The first time was in 2009 with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and again in 2014.
“I really enjoy the comedy of this ballet,” shares choreographer and Ballet Society instructor, Hillary Moseley. “Our dancers do a great job of getting into their characters and showcasing their personalities while they dance. I had the pleasure of dancing Helena the first time CYB performed Midsummer Night’s Dream and it is a real treat to return to this ballet once again, this time as a choreographer.”
Moseley has been with Colorado Ballet Society since 2001. First as a student, then she began teaching in 2006. Her awards/featured roles in the past include winning the Colorado Springs Dance Theatre’s Esther Geoffrey scholarship competition in 2006, 2008, 2010, and Denver Ballet Guild’s Young Dancers Scholarship Competition in 2009, 2010. Moseley performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Colorado Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker; in the title role of the Firebird; and as Helena in in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the CS Philharmonic.
A Touch of Class demonstrates the repertoire of the classical ballet vocabulary complete with ensembles, duets, solos, and pas de deux, all to the expressive music of Leo Delibes.
“I enjoy the classic story ballets,” shares Moseley. “But the audience will love ‘A Touch of Class’ featured in the billing as well. It is a bit of ‘a day in the life’ of a dancer where the audience gets a glimpse of what class work is like and sees the hard work of the dancers and choreographers alike. Don’t miss the chance to see the future stars of tomorrow on stage April 6.”
Who: Colorado Ballet Society’s Colorado Youth Ballet and Pre Professional division dancers
What: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Touch of Class
When: Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 2:00pm & 6:00pm
Where: Ent Center for the Arts 5225 N Nevada Ave; Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Tickets: $26 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under and seniors at the door and online
Figure 1: Photo by Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 2: Photo by Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 3: Photo by Ted Mehl of A Better Image Photography
Figure 4: Touch of Class Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 5: Touch of Class Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 6: Fairy Hannah Hawkins Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 7: Oberon (Daniel Prewitt) and his attendants Photo by Kayla Coburn
Figure 8: Oberon (Daniel Prewitt) and Titania (Emma Michaux) Photo by Kayla Coburn