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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Step into the magical land of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Witness dense forests that are plagued by utopian love-triangles, and fairy realms that are in a constant state of conflict.

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why you should watch a midsummer night’s dream

One of the most beloved comedies by Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is called so because it is full of fantastical events and characters. It depicts forest chases that end up in utter confusion, pointless quarrels, and star-crossed lovers. It is also famous for the iconic character, Puck.

The play has always been linked to enchantment and love. It was believed, in European folklore, to be the night when magical creatures would come to the real world and mingle with people. This night also fell on a day that was close to the summer solstice, which was a time that was associated with love and fertility.

Shakespeare’s play has been the birthplace for numerous movies, an opera, and also a ballet by Frederick Ashton in 1964, which was called The Dream. George Balanchine created his own version of the ballet, which first ran in 1962, in America. It was the first, completely original ballet, which was also evening-length. The ballet eventually opened at the New York State Theatre, today known as the David H. Koch Theatre, a couple of years later and began the New York City Ballet’s first repertory season.

Having been enthralled by this play from a tender age, Balanchine had played the role of an elf in a production of the play at St. Petersburg. He was known to recite entire sections of the play from memory, in Russian. Mendelssohn’s overture and the wonderful music for A Midsummer NIght’s Dream, with the overture (Opus 21), have always won Balanchine’s heart. The choreography for this mesmerising ballet was heavily inspired by this score. The original version of the music lasted only about an hour, which is barely enough for this ballet. So, other pieces of music, such as Overture to The Fair Melusine, Opus 32, Overture to Athalie, Opus 74, and parts of The First Walpurgis Night, Opus 60, among others were all interweaved to create a magical masterpiece that fits the tale.

The Story

The ballet depicts the happenings surrounding the wedding of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to the erstwhile queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. It goes over the exploits of a quartet of young Athenian lovers, and the ‘mechanicals’, who are a set of six enthusiast actors. These ‘mechanicals’ are dominated and operated by the magical fairies, who reside in the forest that acts as the setting for a majority of the story. Watch one of the most famous Shakespearean plays unfold before you in the form of beautifully choreographed dance in this ballet show.

Good For

Fans of Shakespeare | Lovers of Romantic Comedies

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Show Details

Show Timings

26th, 27th, and 28th May 2020 7:30 PM
29th and 30th May 2020 8:00 PM
30th May 2020 2:00 PM
31st May 2020 3:00 PM

1 hour and 55 minutes


New York City Ballet

George Balanchine

Composed by
Felix Mendelssohn

Important Information
Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.

Additional Information


Suitable for all ages. No entry for children below age 4.

Available Facilities

Wheelchair Accessible

In-house Bar

Coat Check

The David H. Koch Theatre has a seating capacity of 2586.

Outside Food

Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in the Theater District.

Dress Code

Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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