12 Fun Facts About A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Principal dancer Carla Körbes and Lucien Postlewaite with PNB Company dancers.

  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the first major Balanchine story ballet to be completely redesigned with the approval of The George Balanchine Trust.

  1. The scenery and costumes, designed by Martin Pakledinaz, were influenced by 19th-century English and Italian Renaissance designs.

  1. The process of building the scenery and creating and sewing the 115 costumes worn in A Midsummer Night’s Dream took more than a year.
Principal dancer Carla Körbes and corps de ballet dancer Ezra Thomson

  1. The head for Bottom was handcrafted in New York and shipped to Seattle for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  1. More than 13,000 bugle beads were hand-sewn onto more than 250 motifs appearing on the costumes of the court attendants.

  1. The creation of Oberon’s crown took over 100 hours and involved more than 200 bugle beads and 40 crystal jewels which were hand-sewn onto the crown.
    Principal dancer Carla Körbes and Lucien Postlewaite with PNB Company dancers.
  1. The magic arrow used by Puck to cast his love spells is 22 feet long.

  1. A 12-foot spider adorns the stage in several scenes.

  1. 25 Pacific Northwest Ballet School students perform with the Company dancers and Professional Division students in each performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
    Principal dancer Carla Körbes with PNB School students.

  1. The score for A Midsummer Night’s Dream comprises five different musical compositions selected by George Balanchine, all by Felix Mendelssohn.

  1. George Balanchine performed the role of an elf in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg when he was 8 years old.

  1. George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was premiered by New York City Ballet on January 17, 1962 at City Center of Music and Drama in New York. The production was filmed for theatrical release in 1967.


    Photos © Angela Sterling.
    Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.

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