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 transports audiences to a fantastical forest filled with fairies, elves, mischief, romance, joy and love.
Not only is Stiefel’s playful concoction highly entertaining, but the choreography consistently supports the drama.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Location: New Brunswick Performing Arts Center | New Brunswick, NJ
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.
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 70 operas, 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.
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.
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.
Photos by Rosalie O’Connor Photography