Like a forest filled with the glittering frenzy of faeries, sprites, dryads, and other woodland creatures on a midsummer’s eve, the studios and halls of the Blue Heron Education Center have now come alive with the final rehearsals and preparations for Vashon Center for Dance’s (VCD) “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The enchanting production will take to the stage in the Kay White Hall of Vashon Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, with matinees at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 3, and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 4.
The show will encompass the technique and talent of five-plus levels of ballet, two levels each of lyrical and contemporary dance, and three levels each of modern and jazz dance.
“One of the most magical things about preparing for a show is watching how all the separate, scattered bits of choreography somehow come together to tell a beautiful story,” said advanced VCD student Elouise Lawrence, who will share the iconic role of Queen Titania with fellow advanced student Signe Blomgren.
With advanced lyrical dancers on pointe, jazz dancing sprites, and two separate casts of Puck, styles will merge and evolve to provide a new beauty to this spring’s performances.
“This production has been so much fun to pull together,” said Vadne White, director of dance. “The choreographers have created inspired and unique pieces, and Kate Guinee’s costuming perfectly complements the dancers.”
While the show deviates from Shakespeare’s classic tale in some ways, most notably the absence of the lovers’ quartet, fans of the original story will be charmed by a cast of beloved characters, including Titania, Bottom, Puck, Oberon, and Hippolyta, all clothed in Guinee’s unforgettable costuming.
“I am especially impressed by our advanced dancers, who have risen to the challenge and are having a great time pushing themselves to be artists as well as technical dancers,” White said.
A talented and supportive community of advanced students will share the additional lead roles across a weekend of four performances, each featuring a different cast. Cast members include Natasha Webb and Astro Mullins as Oberon, Jaylie Carlton as Bottom, Claire Mitchell and Emma Meade as Hippolyta, Josephine Baker and Carlton as Druid Royals, Ella Strong as the Duchess, and Sadie Choo and Grace Harvey as two different interpretations of the trickster, Puck.
“I feel I can be both a whimsical faerie, yet also be comical in my role,” added Blomgren. “I have always enjoyed the acting aspect of ballet, and this show is the perfect opportunity to really embrace that.”
The combined score of pieces from Mendelssohn’s Italian and Scottish suites, as well as his famed suite for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” will add more dimension to a performance already filled with colors, costumes, and characters.
Tickets are available online.