Saint Augustine Ballet, in partnership with the Cultural Events Division of Saint Johns County, is proud to present the ballet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at 2 pm and 7 pm on Saturday, April 26th and at 2 pm on Sunday, April 27th 2014 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082. Tickets are $30, and may be purchased online at www.findmytix.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or in person at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall or Saint Augustine Amphitheater box offices.
Based upon Shakespeare’s comic play, an enchanting world of fairies and woodland sprites intersects and collides with the world of ordinary mortals, including two teenage couples in love. Drama, merriment, love potions, magic spells, and hilarity ensue in a ballet that is fun for audiences of all ages.
In a dream-like forest setting designed by Professor Robert O’Leary of the Florida School of the Arts, Director, Luis Abella, and Choreographer, Chelsea Hilding, capture in motion the magic of Shakespeare in this fresh, original work.
The musical score is provided by Felix Mendelssohn, who composed the sublime overture for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” after reading Shakespeare’s play at the tender age of seventeen in 1826.
Like the composer, the accomplished young dancers of the cast bring a spirit of lyrical grace and youthful exuberance perfectly matched to the classic tale. Over fifteen area schools are represented among the student cast members, who range in age from 7 to 17.
They will be joined onstage by professional principal dancers, Erin-Elizabeth Morton and Norbert Nirewicz, who will lead the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the roles of Titania, Queen of the Fairies, and Oberon, King of the Fairies.
“It is a wonderful piece for young dancers,” explains Saint Augustine Ballet Artistic Director, Luis Abella, “It brings the worlds of great literature, great music and classical ballet together in a way that even the youngest children can appreciate. It also provides the dancers with unique opportunities to explore full-blown Shakespearean characters, and bring them to life through dance.”
Mr. Abella, a former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Cuba, Minnesota Ballet and University of Miami Ballet, founded the non-profit Saint Augustine Ballet in 2010 in order to give area ballet students the opportunity to perform alongside professional dancers from around the world, and to present full-length classical ballets to Northeast Florida audiences.
Ms. Morton, who will dance the role of Titania, received her training at the Virginia Ballet, and danced professionally with Southern Ballet Theatre, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland, before joining the Georgia Ballet as Principal Dancer in 2002. Along with her role as dancer, Ms. Morton considers it her mission to inspire young dancers the way she was inspired to dance as a child.
A native of Poland, Mr. Nirewicz, who will dance the role of Oberon, trained with the National Ballet School in Gdansk, where he won the silver medal in Poland’s National Ballet Competition. He has danced with the Polish National Theater, and as Principal Dancer with the Ballet Classico de Camara of Venezuela, the Cleveland/San Jose Ballet, and the Columbia City Ballet.
Saint Augustine Ballet is a nonprofit 501(C)3 performing arts organization which produces two ballets each year: a spring repertoire, which varies from year to year, and every December, the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker.