This ballet evening brings together two veritable classics, namely William Shakespeare’s »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« and Antonio Vivaldi’s »The Four Seasons«.
In view of its narrative wit and highly virtuosic physical vocabulary, Frederick Ashton’s adaptation of »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« (1964) soon became regarded as a milestone in the balletic interpretation of Shakespeare. Focussing on events in a forest outside Athens, humans and fairies alike cannot escape the enchantment of a summer night. Whilst Oberon, king of the fairies, intends to punish his queen, Titania, for her obstinacy with the nectar of a magic flower, two couples, lost not only in the forest but in their feelings for one another, are also bewitched. The spell is only broken when morning dawns and they awaken as if from a dream, finally recognising one another.
The fantastic ambient music of Max Richter’s reworking (2012) of »The Four Seasons« (1725) inspired the British choreographer David Dawson to create this meditation on the cycle of life. Four parts complete the circle, formed and reformed by the bodies of the dancers within the spatial complex of the room, which is divided into four elements. The heart of the piece is mankind itself, buffered by change whether immobile or in movement, creating new dimensions of perception, energy and possibility in many timeless instances, caught between life and death, always anticipating and never knowing.