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 Post subject: Northern Ballet Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dr
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:33 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A Midsummer Night's Dream
By Judith Mackrell for The Guardian

The classics of the ballet repertoire have become easy prey for directors impatient to acquire a snappy image. All it usually takes to rebrand an old favourite is a twist of the plot or a new setting. One common device is to relocate the story to a ballet company, since at a stroke you get a cast who naturally spend their days in pointe shoes.

Northern Ballet Theatre's David Nixon has reinvented A Midsummer Night's Dream for a low-rent ballet troupe, operating in the late 1940s. Theseus, doubling as Oberon, is the imperious artistic director; his fiancee, Hippolyta/Titania, is the prima ballerina who, Theseus believes, is ready to retire.

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Dream theme is on the right track
Ismene Brown for The Daily Telegraph reviews A Midsummer Night's Dream at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.


A midsummer night's steam, anyone? Northern Ballet Theatre's idea to rework Shakespeare's amorous comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream on the theme of a Forties ballet company taking the sleeper train from London to Edinburgh is a happy one.

The aptness of the setting for lovers' squabbles, egos and hierarchy (ballerinas over here, stage mechanicals over there), and the striking rightness of having the touring train enter a tunnel at midnight to unleash the dream, all of this gives the concept by David Nixon and Patricia Doyle a flying start.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dr
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:22 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Times.

Quote:
DAVID NIXON is savvy enough to know that his ambitious new three-act interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Northern Ballet Theatre needn’t and, indeed, shouldn’t compete with well-established versions by the likes of Ashton and Balanchine. Working with the actress Patricia Doyle as co-director, Nixon has adopted a fresh approach to Shakespeare’s frolic.
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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dr
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 5:09 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A Midsummer Night's Dream
By By Kevin Berry for The Stage


The scenery is applauded because it is that good. In fact, it is outstanding. David Nixon's setting for this production, premiered here at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, is the mark of audacious thinking. The company's artistic director puts the story backstage in a ballet company in the late forties.

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 Post subject: Re: Northern Ballet Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dr
PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 3:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Puck! The magic flagon...
A Midsummer Night's Dream, West Yorkshire Playhouse By Jann Parry for The Observer

Northern Ballet Theatre has set out on its autumn tour with two Shakespearean ballets, one cleverly serving as a trailer for the other. David Nixon's new version of A Midsummer Night's Dream starts with a ballet company rehearsing Romeo and Juliet. The star-crossed partners in the tragedy double as the mismatched lovers in the comedy.

Here's how it works. Theseus, artistic director of the touring ballet troupe, decides it's time for his bride-to-be, Hippolyta, to hang up her pointe shoes. He wants younger dancers as Juliet - but needless to say, trouble ensues with the chosen pairings. Off the company goes in an overnight train to Edinburgh, where they are to perform the premiere of Romeo and Juliet.

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Dance: Bawdy bard
Northern Ballet Theatre’s Dream might be saucy, but it’s got pizzazz, too, says David Dougill for The sunday Times.


Relationships blossoming or floundering, professional rivalries, clashes of artistic temperaments and egos have all provided rich material for witty memoirists of touring ballet companies, the best-ever such book being the late impresario Julian Braunsweg’s hilarious Ballet Scandals. Not that I would suggest for a moment things are like that in Northern Ballet Theatre, one of our most indefatigable touring companies, which, though frequently on the move, seems to run on an even keel.

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