A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, his first full-length ballet for the company, premiered in 2022 to sold out audiences. Set to Felix Mendelssohn’s iconic score with additional music written for film by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the enchanting production will transport audiences to a fantastical forest filled with fairies, elves, mischief, romance, joy and love. ARB’s Artistic Associate and American Ballet Theatre principal ballerina Gillian Murphy will dance the role of Oberon, leader of the elves.

Stiefel’s work is less strictly classical, its movement vocabulary extending beyond the ballet lexicon to include large doses of pantomime, slapstick, folk, social, and popular dance steps, as well as acrobatics and clowning. Not only is Stiefel’s playful concoction highly entertaining, but the choreography consistently supports the drama.

Dance Review

Runtime

1 Act | Running Time: 1 hours, 5 minutes | no intermission

Number of performers

13 female dancers and 9 male dancers

Tech Rider

Available upon request


Choreographer | Ethan Stiefel

Ethan Stiefel is an internationally recognized artist, educator and leader in the performing arts. Stiefel was the Principal Guest Instructor at American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from 2016-2021 and the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) from 2011-2014. Just before being appointed the RNZB’s Artistic Director, he served as Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) from 2007-2011.

Stiefel began his professional career at age 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. He was also a Principal Dancer with Ballett Zürich and joined American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in 1997. 

During his career, Stiefel performed leading roles in all of the full-length classics and danced in an extensive range of shorter works created by the industry’s foremost classical, modern and contemporary choreographers. Read more about Ethan Stiefel here.

Scenic Design | Howard Jones

Howard C. Jones is an acclaimed set designer and teacher. His designs have graced stages from coast to coast, including Starlight Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theater, American Heartland Theater, and theater companies in Boston and other east coast cities.

Music | Felix Mendelssohn and Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Adolphe Adam was a French composer whose music for the ballet Giselle (1841) is noted for its easy grace and cogency. It has retained its popularity with dancers and audiences to the present day.

Adam wrote more than 70operas, of which the most popular in their day were Le Châlet (1834), Le Postillon de Longjumeau (1836), and Giralda (1850). In his ballets—which he composed for production in London, Berlin, and St. Petersburg, as well as Paris—he skillfully coordinated the music with choreographic demands. 

Costume Design | Janessa Cornell Urwin

Janessa Cornell Urwin began her career as a ballet dancer before transitioning into costuming. She has designed costumes for numerous classical ballets and contemporary dance pieces for American Repertory Ballet, Stockton University Dance Program, Traverse City Dance Project, The Nutmeg Ballet, Rutgers University, Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers, and Nacre Dance Company, among others. She has worked with esteemed choreographers Kirk Peterson, Starr Foster, Riccardo De Nigris, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, and Meredith Rainey. Urwin also has a short film design credit and has designed for Athena Theatre Company. She holds a certificate in Costume Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Most recently she designed Ethan Stiefel’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the costumes for Movin’ + Groovin’. Urwin is also ARB’s Wardrobe Supervisor.

Lighting Design | Joseph R. Walls

Walls has created designs for The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Calgary’s The High Performance Rodeo, Washington D.C.’s Inter-American Development Bank. The New York Musical Festival, Washington DC Fringe Festival, The New York International Fringe Festival, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, The National Theatre of Panamá, Panamá’s Theatro Anayansi, The Figali Convention Center of Panamá, and New York City’s Fall for Dance Festival.