Neumeier’s Dream explores the fringes of the Twilight Zone

Hamburg Ballet in Neumeier's DREAM (Photo: Holger Badekow)

Hamburg Ballet in Neumeier’s DREAM (Photo: Holger Badekow)

 

John Neumeier’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is wacky, whimsical and occasionally maddening, yet his depiction of a ballet sci-fi world is so dazzling and absorbing, and his story-telling so enthralling, that it seems almost churlish to pick fault.

The daring score tacks on to Mendelssohn an ominous electronic drone by György Ligeti for the fairies, and hurdy-gurdy arrangements of popular themes, some from La Traviata, for the Craftsmen. This pastiche may sound more like a scenario for Cirque du Soleil than the serious Hamburg Ballet, but Neumeier makes us believe.
 

Hélène Bouchet and Ivan Urban in Neumeier's DREAM (Photo: Holger Badekow)

Hélène Bouchet and Ivan Urban in Neumeier’s DREAM (Photo: Holger Badekow)

 

Guest artist Alina Cojocaru and Hamburg Ballet stalwart Alexandre Riabko are perfectly matched in the lead roles: all creamy elegance as the aristocratic Hippolyta and Theseus; sexy, stern and combative as Titania and Oberon, monarchs of the fairy kingdom. Konstantin Tselikov segued heroically between the courtly Philostrate and the hell-raising Puck.

Read more in our Bachtrack review of The Hamburg Ballet in Neumeier’s Dream at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. –

 

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2 thoughts on “Neumeier’s Dream explores the fringes of the Twilight Zone

  1. Hi!
    My name is Carla Stallings Lippert and I’m a friend of your sister – Tina. We were talking earlier this week when I was in NY visiting and she told me a little about you and this website. Bravo! Well done! I would love for you to meet my husband and Tina agreed that you have a lot in common with love of the art of ballet and business. Robert began ballet at Stanley Holden’s when he was at UCLA and working in Santa Monica at TRW. His degrees are in Mech engineering (UCLA) and business (Pepperdine). He had a small business for records (before cd’s) for ballet class with the pianist Michael Roberts and then put together a small ballet company with Melissa Allen (Bowman) where we met in the 80’s.

    We are going to see SFB’s Cinderella this Sun and wondered if you might possibly be there also or have time to meet? We live in Fresno and were driving in that am.

    Hoping to meet you soon,

    Carla

    • Hi Carla S,

      so nice to hear from you – I was a big fan while you were at ABT – and thank you for checking out the blog. I look forward to meeting you and Robert, will e-mail you separately.

      Best,
      Carla E

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