Ballet performs final weekend of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Courtesy Rebecca Humes Photography

The Grand Rapids Ballet continues its 50th year with a Skakespearean classic.

Grand Rapids Ballet company is set to perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Friday-Sunday, April 29-May 1, at Peter Martin Wege Theatre, at 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW in Grand Rapids.

The Skakespearean ballet is choreographed by Christopher Stowell, associate director of the National Ballet of Canada, and features music by Felix Mendelssohn. 

“‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies and is a wonderful story to be made into a ballet, especially since Mendelssohn wrote such perfect music to accompany the play,” said James Sofranko, artistic director at Grand Rapids Ballet. “After waiting over two years to bring ‘Midsummer’ to the stage, I am so excited to finally be able to share this beautiful ballet with our audiences.”

The performances also will pay homage to 20th century choreographer George Balanchine and will include his classical work “Serenade,” which features music by Tchaikovsky. 

“I am happy to be presenting George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’ in this program, one of ballet’s most treasured pieces of choreography, blended perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s ‘Serenade for Strings,’” Sofranko said.

 “`Serenade’ is one of those ballets that you never tire of watching, the way the music fills the dancers’ spirits and the way Balanchine moves the corps of women around the stage is pure genius. It is a work of art that every ballet lover should experience.”

Company dancer Emily Reed said she is excited to help bring the anticipated “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to life, after two years of waiting.

“We started learning this in fall 2019, and it kept getting pushed back due to the pandemic,” Reed said. “Now, it’s finally time to perform, and it’s a great way to end this season.” 

The ballet will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available here.

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