'Midsummer' leaps to life on NWF Ballet stage

Midsummer Nights ballet

Sean Hilton as Oberon and Sarah Goud as Tatania help bring William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to life in the Northwest Florida Ballet's March 9-10 performances.

BOB BARTON | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM.

NICEVILLE — The actors, the nobility, the lovers and the forest fairies leap from the pages of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and onto the Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center Mainstage in the Northwest Florida Ballet's upcoming interpretation of the classic comedy.

With a cast of nearly 60 dancers, the local ballet company's March 9 and 10 productions are set to the sweeping music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, edited to accompany the 1876 ballet from his score for the play. Renowned choreographers Marius Petipa and, later, George Balanchine and Federick Ashton created the ballet.

Katia Garza, principal guest artist, choreographer and instructor with the compnay, choreographs the NWFB production. 

“I have to say that I have choreographed before, but 'Midsummer' is the one I enjoy the most,” Garza said. “It is a fun story with a lot of dancing and the audience will laugh and enjoy it.

"'Midsummer' is such a fun ballet to choreograph because it’s always different and gives the dancers the freedom to interpret the roles in such a different way, so for me, it’s always like a new ballet.”

On the same program, the company will perform the neoclassical ballet "Afterglow," choreographed by Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen.

The ballet is set to "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. "Afterglow," choreographed for the Northwest Florida Ballet in 2001, "is an exploration of shapes and texture," according to a news release.

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