NFB presents 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Afterglow'

Special to The Log
NFB presents A Midsummer Night's Dream March 9 and 10.

Northwest Florida Ballet presents the magical production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and the neo classical ballet Afterglow at 7:30 p.m. March 9 and 2:30 p.m. March 10 at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. Tickets, $28 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under, are available online at www.nfballet.org or call 850-664-7787.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, based on William Shakespeare’s play, will be the premier of this production for the NFB and a beautiful addition to its repertoire. The production has a cast of more than 58 dancers that includes NFB Company members and an impressive array of international guest artists. Breathtaking scenery and costumes from Orlando Ballet will add to the delight for the audience.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a happy tangle of plots and subplots about the loves and adventures of mortals and mystical beings. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest.

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy wrote the musical score for the play. The arrangement was then edited to form a version suitable for dance, and Marius Petipa and later George Balanchine and Federick Ashton first choreographed the ballet version of Shakespeare’s play in 1876.

Katia Garza, an NFB audience favorite for the past 10 years who is currently a principal guest artist with Northwest Florida, will choreograph this production. Garza has not only performed with NFB, but also regularly teaches and choreographs for the company.

"The dancers love working with Katia,” Artistic Director Todd Eric Allen said. “Her positive energy and artistry are inspiring.”

“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.”  

Also on the program will be the neoclassical ballet Afterglow, set to the music "Fantasia on a Theme" by Thomas Tallis composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and choreographed by Allen. This ballet was originally choreographed for Northwest Florida Ballet in 2001 and is an exploration of shapes and texture, a beautiful ballet sure to please the eye and ear.

In addition to its two public performances, NFB will also present a performance for area school children at 10 a.m. March 8 as part of its Education and Outreach services.