A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ McCaw Hall

Chaotic romcom x classical ballet 💘

Published March 30, 2023

The Fairy Queen, Titania embraces a ballet dancer wearing a donkey head

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of those story ballets that makes you truly appreciate dance’s capacity for maximalism. This Balanchine-Shakespeare meet-cute has everything: a dour fairy king, romantic strife resolved through magic and mischief, an ethereal queen who sleeps in a giant shell, another (different) queen who’s also an Amazon in grand tradition of Diana Prince, a fairy for everything under the sun, more iridescent wings than you’ve ever seen in your life, and—oh yeah!—a dancer wearing a huge donkey head.

It’s a lot, and it’s perfect—a fever dream flying in on fairy wings. With romantic intrigue that wraps up tidily in true romcom style, spending an elegant evening or matinée with Midsummer’s temporarily enchanted lovers is much more likely to lift your mood than bearing witness to the permanently cursed swans or eternally vengeful ghosts of other story ballets. Those have their place: Who doesn’t enjoy weeping in the darkness as poor Odette flies off into the mist or dead Giselle recedes into her grave? But if you’re looking for something with more whimsy and less propensity to emotionally wreck its audience, Midsummer is the apex of feather-light, wonderfully goofy, and dreamily gorgeous entertainment.

Like the Fairy of Generosity, Balanchine’s exquisite choreo and Mendelssohn’s brightly propulsive score invite audience members into a story that feels both heart-on-sleeve intimate and head-in-clouds whimsical. After all, who among us can’t relate to a story about falling in love with the wrong person? If only all of them ended as happily as this one.

@theticketsea 🧚 Get swept away to fairy land at @pnballet ♬ original sound – TheTicketSeattle

📸: Courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet | A Midsummer Night's Dream | Photo by Angela Sterling

Pacific Northwest Ballet celebrates 50 years of ballet excellence with thrilling dance performances at McCaw Hall; inspiring community education partnerships; and dance training for students ages four to adult at PNB school locations in Seattle and Bellevue.

🎟️ Top Picks


Looking for something to do? We’ve got you!