A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Ballet
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Choreographer: Mark Hawkins
Music Performed By: Felix Mendelssohn
Featured Artists: Craig Morris (Tartuffe/Madame Pernelle), Neil McCarthy (Orgon), Vanessa Cooke (Dorine), Khutjo Green (Elmire), Camilla Waldman (Cleante), Adrian Alper (Damis), Vuyelwa Maluleke (Mariane), Anele Situlweni (Valère), William Harding (Monsieur Loyal/Officer)
Company: The Johannesburg Youth Ballet
Choreography: Mark Hawkins
Rehearsal Assistant: Mary-Ann Mottram
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Original Set & Costume Design: Andrew Botha
Lighting Design: Nicholas Michaletos
Set & Prop Co-ordination: Stan Knight of Knight Scene
Costume Construction: Cassandra Parsons
Headdress Construction: Laura Cameron
Projections: Andrew Botha
Chairperson – Johannesburg Youth Ballet: Jean Beckley
Artistic Director – Johannesburg Youth Ballet: Mark Hawkins
Mark Hawkins’s delightfully zany reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, danced to the Mendelssohn score, is the perfect choice to celebrate the Johannesburg Youth Ballet’s 40th anniversary. Known for his innovative and pioneering work, Festival audiences will remember fondly Hawkins’s Hansel and Gretel in 2013. His A Midsummer Night’s Dream moves from a contemporary world of car guards and taxis to the most imaginative fantasy world of psychedelic neon fairies who appear and disappear magically into a plastic bubble wrap forest, where confused lovers and feuding fairy royalty dance their dream and wake resolved with their love intact, for love makes fools of everyone.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream deals with the universal theme of love and its complications: lust, disappointment, confusion, marriage. The plot focuses on three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers camping in a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and their elves; and a group of amateur actors attempting to stage a production of ‘Pyramus and Thisby’ for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.
Hermia is in love with Lysander, but her father wants her to marry Demetrius. To escape the arranged marriage, she and Lysander elope into the woods. Demetrius follows them, and he is pursued by Helena, who nurses an unrequited passion for him. A love quadrangle develops among the young lovers when mischievous Puck plays Cupid. “The course of true love never did run smooth,” says Lysander. Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors rehearse in the woods, and soon all find their lives changed by the doings of Oberon and Titania, the warring king and queen of the fairies. Magic, action, love and humour are the ingredients for this unforgettable spell.
The JYB is a grateful recipient of National Arts Council Company Funding (2016 – 2018)