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Victoria Morgan's Midsummer Night's Dream

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Yesterday's Links include an interview with Victoria Morgan discussing the Cincinnati Ballet's version of Midsummer's Night Dream, scheduled this weekend.

Ballet's Victoria Morgan reinterprets a Shakespearean classic

How and why did she decide to develop her own interpretation? Surely Balanchine was a tough act to follow. The imaginative setting, the charming, almost cartoonish characters and the musical score were all attractions for Morgan. She also likes the structure.

"It's actually a good piece for someone who has not seen very much dance," she points out, "because it very clearly tells a story."

Anyone attending this? Any thoughts or reactions?

Morgan says she is familiar with the Balanchine and other versions but has made her own choreographic and musical choices. Two of these choices seem especially intriguing.

One has to do with the music:

QUOTE:

"Describing Balanchine's version with evident adoration and fond memories, Morgan cites several contrasts: His rendition contains many lovely divertissements and perhaps more additional tangents off the basic plot. She says he took a different approach. Although both versions share the rather short, 40-minute musical score composed by Felix Mendelssohn, Morgan had the freedom to incorporate additional music -- while avoiding Balanchine's musical choices. She stuck with Mendelssohn, opting for some of the composer's lush string symphonies and choral compositions. Calling his music "jubilant, yet sophisticated," she adds, "I really relate to him. He's got a lot of really fun rhythms and ideas in his music. You can pick up so many different kinds of accents ... this brings a lot of freedom to the choreography."

The other has to do with involving the dancers in choreographic decisions:

QUOTE:

"Because the dancers had familiarized themselves with the characters they were to portray, Morgan often discussed characterizations and motivations instead of telling the dancers exactly what steps to do. Most enjoyed the freedom of interpreting their own characters through movement, based on material from the play. Since this is the second production of Morgan's version, she has enjoyed seeing how dancers in different casts can take the same information and move it in new directions.

"They are extremely entertaining and I was just so amazed at what came out."

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It's hard to know what to think of this without actually seeing it. But it's curious that there's no mention of Ashton's "Dream."

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I couldn't resist adding this piece of information about the production.

Cincinnati Ballet's Midsummer Night's Dream Uses Extras From Local Correctional Facility

Helen Magers, program director at River City Correctional Center, where the volunteer performers come from, said, “These volunteers are men that will soon rejoin society, and they have been choisen because of their positive behavior and the fact that none of them have ever committed a serious crime.”

Those of us who believe that the arts have the power to redeem have reeason to hope. :(

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Price, who was released earlier this week but returned to keep his commitment to the company, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that the experience has inspired him to take dance lessons.

A star is born???

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