Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, Royal Ballet 1964The Dream
(Merle Park-Anthony Dowell, Royal Ballet 1964)
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The Dream, based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream , is one of Frederick Ashton's most enchanting ballets. It was choreographed in 1964 as part of the national celebrations of Shakespeare's 400th birthday.
Ballet in one act with choreography and libretto by Ashton, music by Mendelssohn, scenery by Henry Bardon, and costumes by David Walker. Premiered 2 Apr. 1964 by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, London, with Sibley, Dowell, K. Martin, and A. Grant. It was created to mark Shakespeare's quatercentenary and broadly follows the plot of his A Midsummer Night's Dream.
As Titania and Oberon, Ashton chose two young dancers Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell. When they started rehearsals with the quarrel scene, they assumed they were playing two of the lovers and only learned later that they had the leading roles. Ashton concentrated on making the story clear and only toward the end of the rehearsal period did he work on the solos. It took him only three days to create one of his most beautiful pas de deux for the reconciliation of Oberon and Titania.
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