NYCB opens 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on Midsummers Night.
Star-Crossed Lovers, Scrambled and Unscrambled
By GIA KOURLAS
Published: June 21, 2005
In New York City, summer cannot really officially begin without two events. One is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, in which an assortment of loony sea creatures, ruled by King Neptune and Queen Mermaid, descends upon the Brooklyn boardwalk. But the other one offers a more magical adventure. In George Balanchine's indelible "Midsummer Night's Dream," Titania and Oberon, Queen and King of the Fairies, inhabit a beautiful world where butterflies frolic with fairies, and mortals and immortals try to make sense of love.
The two-act work, performed by New York City Ballet on Tuesday night at the New York State Theater, dates to 1962, but Balanchine must be sprinkling fairy dust from afar. No matter how fragile the cast, "Midsummer," set to shimmering music by Felix Mendelssohn, is somehow indestructible. The first act is primarily devoted to unraveling Shakespeare's screwball plot.