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NYCB Vol. 3 No. 39 - A Midsummer Night's Dream

(2/12) Here are additional photos from the original 1962 production. When Balanchine was a child, he was an elf in a production of Midsummer at the Mikhailovsky Theater in Russia and could recite portions of the play in Russian decades later. This is a part of a pattern: Balanchine had appeared as the Candy Cane in the Ivanov’s Nutcracker in Russia before he staged it in America. Also, Balanchine danced in the Garland Waltz in Sleeping Beauty when he was a child at the Maryinsky Theater. Balanchine always had plans to choreograph a Sleeping Beauty production but the only part he ever choreographed was the Garland Waltz. NYCB’s Sleeping Beauty was choreographed by Peter Martins but uses Balanchine’s Garland Waltz choreo. It seems his formative theater experiences as a student at the Imperial Ballet School in Russia left a deep impression on him as he returned to many of the productions that gave him his start in the theater.

(top, left) Edward Villella as Oberon and Melissa Hayden as Titania, 1962.

(top, right) Gloria Govrin as Hippolyta, 1962.

(bottom, left) Arthur Mitchell as Puck, 1962.

(bottom, right) Act II Divertissment: Carol Sumner and Richard Rapp (left), Allegra Kent and Jacques D’Amboise (center) and Suki Schorer and Anthony Blum (right), 1962.

Photos by Martha Swope

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