Helene

A Midsummer Night's Dream

19 posts in this topic

Friday, 8 April 7:30pm

Oberon
:Jonathan Porretta

Titania
: Carrie Imler

Puck
: Josh Spell

Hermia
: Chalnessa Eames*

Lysander
: Olivier Wevers

Helena
: Maria Chapman

Demetrius
: Lucien Postlewaite*

Hippolyta
: Ariana Lallone

Theseus
: Karel Cruz

Cavalier
: Batkhurel Bold

Bottom
: Ezra Thomson*

Butterfly
: Rachel Foster

Divertissement pas de deux
: Carla Körbes*, Jeffrey Stanton

Saturday, 9 April 2:00pm

Oberon
:Benjamin Griffiths

Titania
: Lesley Rausch

Puck
: Eric Hipolito Jr.*

Hermia
: Rachel Foster*

Lysander
: Josh Spell

Helena
: Stacy Lowenberg

Demetrius
: Seth Orza

Hippolyta
: Carrie Imler

Theseus
: William Lin-Yee*

Cavalier
: Jerome Tisserand*

Bottom
: Barry Kerollis

Butterfly
: Margaret Mullin*

Divertissement pas de deux
: Laura Gilbreath*, Karel Cruz*

Saturday, 9 April 7:30pm

Oberon
:Lucien Postlewaite

Titania
: Carla Körbes

Puck
: Jonathan Porretta

Hermia
: Lesley Rausch *

Lysander
: Jerome Tisserand*

Helena
: Kylee Kitchens

Demetrius
: Jeffrey Stanton

Hippolyta
: Ariana Lallone

Theseus
: Karel Cruz

Cavalier
: Seth Orza

Bottom
: Ezra Thomson

Butterfly
: Chalnessa Eames

Divertissement pas de deux
: Kaori Nakamura, Olivier Wevers

*First time in role

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PNB just published a video of Ariana Lallone, Carrie Imler, and Stacy Lowenberg rehearsing the role of Hippolyta in the main studio at the Phelps Center. Jerome Tisserand is Lowenberg's partner (Theseus) in the short clip from Act II.

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Here's the casting for Week 2:

Thursday, 14 Apr 7:30pm

Oberon:
Jonathan Porretta

Titania:
Carrie Imler

Puck:
Eric Hipolito Jr.

Hermia:
Sarah Ricard Orza*

Lysander:
Josh Spell

Helena:
Brittany Reid*

Demetrius:
Jeffrey Stanton

Hippolyta:
Stacy Lowenberg

Theseus:
Karel Cruz

Cavalier:
Batkhurel Bold

Bottom:
Ezra Thomson

Butterfly:
Liora Reshef*

Divertissement pas de deux:
Maria Chapman, Seth Orza

Friday, 16 Apr 7:30pm

Oberon:
Lucien Postlewaite

Titania:
Laura Gilbreath

Puck:
Barry Kerollis*

Hermia:
Sarah Ricard Orza

Lysander:
Josh Spell

Helena:
Brittany Reid

Demetrius:
Jeffrey Stanton

Hippolyta:
Carrie Imler

Theseus:
William Lin-Yee

Cavalier:
Karel Cruz

Bottom:
Sean Rollofson*

Butterfly:
Chalnessa Eames

Divertissement pas de deux:
Maria Chapman, Seth Orza

Saturday, 16 Apr 2:00pm --non-subscription performance and Kids' Dress-Up Matinee (crafts in lobby 1hr before)

Oberon:
Jonathan Porretta

Titania:
Kylee Kitchens

Puck:
Barry Kerollis

Hermia:
Rachel Foster

Lysander:
Josh Spell

Helena:
Stacy Lowenberg

Demetrius:
Seth Orza

Hippolyta:
Brittany Reid

Theseus:
William Lin-Yee

Cavalier:
Karel Cruz

Bottom:
Sean Rollofson

Butterfly:
Liora Reshef

Divertissement pas de deux:
Sarah Ricard Orza, Batkhurel Bold

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm

Oberon:
Benjamin Griffiths

Titania:
Lesley Rausch

Puck:
Josh Spell

Hermia:
Chalnessa Eames

Lysander:
Olivier Wevers

Helena:
Maria Chapman

Demetrius:
Lucien Postlewaite

Hippolyta:
Brittany Reid

Theseus:
Seth Orza

Cavalier:
Jerome Tisserand

Bottom:
Barry Kerollis

Butterfly:
Rachel Foster

Divertissement pas de deux:
Carla Körbes, Jeffrey Stanton

Sunday, 17 Apr 1:00pm--Kids' Dress-Up Matinee (crafts in lobby 1hr before)

Oberon:
Lucien Postlewaite

Titania:
Carla Körbes

Puck:
Jonathan Porretta

Hermia:
Lesley Rausch

Lysander:
Jerome Tisserand

Helena:
Kylee Kitchens

Demetrius:
Jeffrey Stanton

Hippolyta:
Stacy Lowenberg

Theseus:
William Lin-Yee

Cavalier:
Seth Orza

Bottom:
Ezra Thomson

Butterfly:
Margaret Mullin

Divertissement pas de deux:
Kaori Nakamura, Olivier Wevers

*First time in role

Last chances to see Olivier Wevers dance with PNB:

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm as Lysander

Sunday, 17 Apr 1:00pm in Divertissement pas de deux (with Kaori Nakamura)

Last chances to see dancers leaving at the end of the season in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with PNB:

Ariana Lallone:

Week 1, as Hippolyta, 8-9 April 7:30pm

Jeffrey Stanton:

Thursday-Friday, 14-15 Apr 7:30pm as Demitrius

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm in Divertissement pas de deux (with Carla Korbes)

Stacy Lowenberg:

Thursday, 14 Apr 7:30pm and Sunday, 17 Apr 1:00pm as Hippolyta

Saturday, 16 Apr 2:00pm as Helena

Chalnessa Eames

Friday 15 Apr 7:30pm as Butterfly

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm as Hermia

Barry Kerollis:

Friday, 15 Apr 7:30pm and Saturday, 16 Apr 2:00pm as Puck (a role debut)

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm as Bottom

Josh Spell:

Thursday-Friday, 14-15 Apr 7:30pm and Saturday, 16 Apr 2:00pm as Lysander

Saturday, 16 Apr 7:30pm as Puck

I'm glad to see Kylee Kitchens cast as Titania (Saturday matinee). She made her debut in the role in 2004, and it was a lovely performance. Seven years later, she'll be amazing.

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It's going to be a very emotional set of performances.

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Here is a 7-minute intro to "A Midsummer Night's Dream", a mini-version of the 30-minute pre-performance lectures he gives starting an hour before performances for performance ticketholders. This is a great intro to the ballet and to the PNB production:

In rehearsal are:

Chalnessa Eames (purple, long-sleeved shirt) as Hermia, with Olivier Wevers as Lysander

i

Carla Korbes (blue leotard) as Titania with Ezra Thomson as Bottom

Jonathan Porretta as Oberon with Carrie Imler (pink t-shirt)

Josh Spell as Puck (Barry Kerollis is to the right)

Ezra Thomson as Bottom ?

Jonathan Porretta as Oberon

Carrie Imler (magenta trim on black leotard) as Titania, with Batkhurel Bold as Cavalier (back center)

Lucien Postlewaite (full costume) as Oberon

Jodie Thomas (now Royal Danish Ballet) as Butterfly

In the screen of stills listing major parts:

Jonathan Porretta as Oberon

Batkhurel Bold as Cavalier, but I don't recognize his Titania from the photo

Josh Spell (I think) as Puck

Jeffrey Stanton as Demetrius, but I don't recognize his Helena

Carrie Imler as Hippolyta

Julie Tobiasson as Hermia and Olivier Wevers as Lysander

Jodie Thomas as Butterfly

Maria Chapman and Seth Orza in Divertissement pas de deux

There are a bunch of shots that flash by: I caught Rachel Foster in all black as Butterfly and Imler, Spell as Puck, and Bold as Titania and Cavalier.

ID corrections very much appreciated!

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A new video of Carla Korbes' and Ezra Thomson's first studio rehearsal of the Titania-Bottom pas de deux:

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In the still shots

Jeffrey Stanton as Demetrius, but I don't recognize his Helena

Miranda Weese?

Julie Tobiasson as Hermia and Olivier Wevers as Lysander

Hermia looks like Kaori Nakamura

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In the still shots

Jeffrey Stanton as Demetrius, but I don't recognize his Helena

Miranda Weese?

I only saw one performance of the ballet in 2008, the only season in which Weese was in the company when the complete ballet was given, and Weese danced Hermia, but she could have been cast as Helena in other performances.

Julie Tobiasson as Hermia and Olivier Wevers as Lysander

Hermia looks like Kaori Nakamura

I have to stop watching on small screens: I was sure the dancer in the photo was blond, which is so wrong. It does look like Nakamura, and I saw her dance Hermia in 1999 and 2004.

Thank you for the ID!

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A bit late posting this review, but I've suffered from allergies all week, as spring blooms and winds shifted the pollen around. I saw the Saturday 09 April 2pm show, with Ben Griffiths and Lesley Rausch as Oberon & Titania, Eric Hipolito as Puck and Laura Gilbreath and Karel Cruz debuting in the divertissement. Carrie Imler was Hippolyta.

All around, I really enjoyed myself, it didn't feel like a usual 2pm "silver" cast, it felt like we were getting a great PNB show. The corps was well researsed, and as I was in the 3rd row front of the orchestra, I could see all expressions. A few corps members need to work on their expressions, but this was my only complaint.

Lesley Rausch was regal as Titania (she really resembles Patricia Barker more and more, although it might just be the honey blonde hair) and Ben Griffiths hit all his beats beautifully. Eric Hipolito was a little timid in the first 10 minutes, but then seemed to hit his form. Plenty of small kids in the audience, many dressed in frills, glitter, and even a few bug costumes. It was a lot of fun.

In the second act Laura Gilbreath and Karel Cruz danced a technically well executed pas, but Laura seemed a bit tentative. At one point 2/3 through, she began to smile a bit more and relax. I had forgotten what a minefield this pas de deux is for the dancers, and watching it from such a close perch (usually I am in the balcony) was a different perspective. The remaining dances are something of a blur, but my strongest impression leaving the theater was that my spirits were lifted and that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Perhaps that is enough.

The sets are to die for, as always. Wish I could remember more, but it has been 5 days and my memories are not so fresh.

I wish for all of you other posters that PNB could tour more, or find an economical way to go about it, because the company really does shine in the Balanchine - though they rarely perform it when visiting NYC or DC.

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Lesley Rausch was regal as Titania (she really resembles Patricia Barker more and more.....

I've often had that same thought (altho based almost entirely on her dance style).

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A Birmingham Royal Ballet press release, as quoted on Ballet News, states, regarding an upcoming performance of "The Dream" to benefit Japan: "The course of true love never did run smooth… certainly not in Frederick Ashton’s The Dream where a group of mischievous fairies are involved! Having argued with beautiful Titania, Oberon, king of the fairies, seeks a suitable revenge. He orders Puck to transform a dopey local peasant into a donkey and cause Titania to fall in love with it. This he does, but things soon get out of hand – the over-use of a love potion hilariously embroils four poor mortals in the fairies’ games. Mendelssohn’s tuneful and instantly recognisable music becomes the basis for Ashton’s elfin comedy, as he shows his mastery of dance, theatre and humour." I have seen the Balanchine full version, which does not involve revenge, but rather manipulation and mishap. Is the Ashton piece different in theme?

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puppytreats,

This is not a direct answer to your question, but I do have a response regarding your premise. Having just seen Balanchine's version last week, I do think revenge is present in Balanchine's "Midsummer's Night Dream". In the version PNB does, there is a very definite clash early in Act I (the ballet is in 2 very dissimilar acts) btwn Oberon and Titania over a very young page boy. Oberon wants Titania to "give" him the page so that the page can help to hold out Oberon's cape to Oberon's advantage (in how our Oberons do this, it is made quite clear that Oberon is being very egotistical about his image and prestige). Titania strongly refuses, and again it is made quite clear that Oberon is miffed at this and he is clearly not used to being denied.

Oberon later comes across Titania sleeping. He does some mime that makes it clear he gets an idea to use the flower with its love potion to "get even" with Titania. As part of this scheme Oberon has Puck create the donkey out of Bottom, and to place Bottom near Titania so that it will be the donkey-Bottom that she sees when she awakens. At the end of Act I, it is also made clear that Oberon and Titania make up when Titania graciously "gives" the page to Oberon which pleases Oberon very much.

I have not seen the Ashton version so perhaps Ashton emphasizes this revenge aspect much more, but in the Balachine version, I'd say Oberon's revenge is definitely there as a response to Titania's denying him the page. This aspect of the plot is rather prominently displayed.

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Sandy,

I do not think a response to a "clash" equates with revenge. Is manipulation the same as revenge? I think Oberon was angry that he did not obtain what he wanted by direct request, so he sought another means by which to obtain the object of his desire. I also thought that Puck's actions were infuriating to Oberon because they were incompetent or erroneous. Part of the humor, I thought, was based on the unintended consequences and mistakes. Giving the potion to the wrong members of two dancing couples was not calculated or the intended result of vengeance, but rather, carelessness, blindness, and error. Likewise, I did not think making T love Bottom was a result of revenge. I thought it was a mistake. The potion was to make T love O and therefore give the boy to him, which she ultimately did, I thought, out of her love and maybe even obedience, not out of being chastened or forcibly coerced or regret after realizing she had been a victim of revenge.

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Oberon humiliates Titania by having Puck "apply" the magic flower to her, turning Bottom into a donkey after she refuses to give him the page, and then sets up Bottom to be the first thing Titania sees upon wakening. That sounds like payback to me.

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puppytreats,

Somehow we are talking apples and oranges here. Your original question seemed to focus just on the relationship btwn Oberon and Titania. My response only concerns that. There are no "unintended consequences and mistakes" in that relationship. Oberon knows just what he is doing, and Puck makes no errors in carrying out Oberon's wishes when it comes to Titania.

OTOH, your comments regarding "unintended consequences and mistakes" absolutely apply to the 2 mortal couples in the ballet (and in the play). Puck definitely screws that up (hence all the "mistaken identity" type comedy in the ballet), and Puck's errors regarding the mortal couples definitely infuriates Oberon.

Also, I certainly agree that revenge plays no part in the "unintended consequences and mistakes" that occur in the Helena, Hermia, Lysander, Demetris relationships, but I never said that it did, and in fact, you never asked about that. My comments were directed only to what you had asked about; namely, is revenge a part of Oberon playing his trick on Titania. I believe it does.

The potion was to make T love O and therefore give the boy to him, which she ultimately did, I thought, out of her love and maybe even obedience, not out of being chastened or forcibly coerced or regret after realizing she had been a victim of revenge.

Maybe this part is different btwn the Balanchine and the Ashton versions; but within the Balanchine version, I see this part of the plot completely differently than you. T and O have always been "in love", or at least "in respect", but they are playful gods/fairies/sprites and are forever playing tricks on one another (well beyond the time frame of the ballet plot). In the ballet they have one of their many spats, this time over the page, so Oberon seeks to "get even" (revenge) with Titania. His spell is to make Titania fall for Bottom as a sort of practical joke. In the end, after having his little joke, Oberon uses another flower (at least I think it is a 2nd flower, and I think Oberon does it, but he might have Puck do it.....I don't quite remember) to un-do the spell. Titania forgives Oberon for getting the best of her this time (surely there have been, and forever will be, times when Titania gets the best of Oberon as they play their spritely games), and gives him the page as a sort of peace offering and acknowledgment that he got the best of her.

------ as a aside ------

Allow me a bit of personal speculation here about the larger themes in MSND: love occurs for the god/spirits and for the mortals very, very differently. In the world of mortals, with their finite life span, love is central to their lives, their emotions run high, and love-lost is a painful experience. In a word, it dominates their lives (hence errors in love have grave consequences). But for the immortals, love is just a game like everything else. I think there is a subtle slap in the face that Shakespeare gives to the "gods" here. I believe part of Shakespeare's message is that living forever ain't perfect. Being a "god" who lives forever is essentially to be bored and to be denied the meaning humans find via love (sort of a Mr Spock curse). So the "gods" play jokes on each other out of boredom, and unfortunately on us humans too.....we are essentially at the mercy of bored "gods" (who, thankfully, are kind at heart in the final analysis). Our consolation for being mortal is that we get to feel strongly and experience true love (that which Mr Spock so desperately craved too).

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Being a "god" who lives forever is essentially to be bored and to be denied the meaning humans find via love (sort of a Mr Spock curse). So the "gods" play jokes on each other out of boredom, and unfortunately on us humans too.....we are essentially at the mercy of bored "gods" (who, thankfully, are kind at heart in the final analysis). Our consolation for being mortal is that we get to feel strongly and experience true love (that which Mr Spock so desperately craved too).

You know, there aren't too many places where I'm going to see an analysis of Midsummer Night's Dream supported by a reference to Star Trek. Big fun!

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This is an irrational post........

It's just that I can't stop thinking about what a spectacular performance Barry Kerollis did of Puck last night (Friday). Bravo Barry. We are losing a major piece of our future with you leaving. Best of luck!

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This is an irrational post........

It's just that I can't stop thinking about what a spectacular performance Barry Kerollis did of Puck last night (Friday). Bravo Barry. We are losing a major piece of our future with you leaving. Best of luck!

Another friend of mine was in the audience last night as well, and had lots of good things to say about Kerollis.

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