A Midsummer Night's Dream

Dance, Ballet
A Midsummer Night's Dream Queensland Ballet 2018 photo supplied credit: Justin Ridler
Photograph: Justin Ridler

The Queensland Ballet brings one of its most celebrated productions to Melbourne

Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream has been reimagined in just about every way imaginable since it premiered four centuries ago: there are countless operas, films, books and even several ballets inspired by the rambling romp. In 2015 British ballet wunderkind Liam Scarlett created a brand new full-length ballet, and now Melbourne audiences will get to see his work performed by artistic director Li Cunxin's (aka Mao's Last Dancer) Queensland Ballet.

Scarlett is one of the most sought after choreographers in the classical ballet world and was the youngest choreographer to ever have a full-length ballet commissioned by the Royal Ballet. His take on A Midsummer Night's Dream sticks fairly closely to the source material but is packed with sensual dance and wildly funny scenes. The bright and bold design is by Kiwi veteran Tracy Grant and the score is made up of various bits and pieces of Mendelssohn.

This marks the first time under Li's artistic directorship that the Queensland Ballet has visited Melbourne, where Li first lived when he moved to Australia.

Li said of the production: "It’s about relationships, tolerance, exploration, misunderstandings and forgiveness, all things we all face almost daily... This story suits Liam’s choreography perfectly as he is very clever and inventive with his creations. He has an innate creativity that shines through all his work and allows you to lose yourself in the tale and revel in the beautiful movement."

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