Shakespeare comedy converted to ballet for area stages | NevadaAppeal.com

Shakespeare comedy converted to ballet for area stages

Nevada Appeal staff report

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Ballet,’ a reimagined version of the Shakespeare comedy, plays July 23 in Incline Village, Aug. 5 in Reno and Aug. 11 in Carson City.

Described as modern and edgy with a steampunk twist, "A Midsummer Night's Dream – The Ballet," Sierra Nevada Ballet's take on Shakespeare's famous comedy, is slated to run for three performances including one in Carson City.

The innovative production, the creation of New York director/interdisciplinary artist Ananda Bena-Weber, will first be performed as part of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival Monday night series at 7:30 p.m. July 23 in Incline Village.

The next performance will move to Reno when the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts will stage the ballet at 4 p.m. Aug. 5.

Finally, the Carson City Community Center will host the third performance at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11.

The ballet "reimagines the traditional story for a contemporary audience creating a comic steampunk fantasy that embodies the subtle insights into the many permutations of the love relationship," a press release said. "Bena-Weber creates a world of cloying embraces, thrashing resistance and power struggles that are played out in the fairytale realm where ideal partnership relationships become hilariously distorted for a time."

The 60-member cast was recruited in part through a nationwide video audition.

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The ballet company said it invited some of the top ballet artists from around the country to join its professional company of dancers and apprentices along with students from the SNB Academy and other local dance schools.

Ballet enthusiasts are also invited to take part in a social evening co-hosted by High Desert Steam from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Wilbur D. May Center at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Patrons are encouraged to attend in their favorite Steampunk attire and enjoy a small performance by SNB dancers; a featured gallery exhibit by photographer Fred Howland; gallery talks by the production designers; a DJ and dance floor; cocktails and dessert.

Tickets for the ballet are limited. To buy them, contact the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at laketahoeshakespeare.com, (800) 74-SHOWS; or the Pioneer Center, pioneercenter.com, 866-553-6605.

Tickets and information also can be found by contacting Sierra Nevada Ballet at sierranevadaballet.org or 775-360-8663. Tickets for the Aug. 3 social are available at the SNB website.