My host mom took me to see “Le songe,” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” at the National Theater of Nice (Le Théâtre National de Nice) performed by the Ballet of Monte Carlo (Les Ballets de Monte Carlo). We attended with a few of her friends, some of which sing in the Nice Opera. I danced for 10 years, and I enjoy visits to Broadway and off-Broadway shows with my mom and sister, so I assumed I would enjoy the production.
Enjoy is an understatement. I loved the ballet! The entire show was incredible. This production was mimed, so there was little speaking from the performers on stage (lucky for me!). In this style, the dancers had to exaggerate their movements and rely on the music to carry the plot of the story.
The choreography was amazing. To be able to create an entire show to tell a story through dance is a true talent. Equally impressive was how the dancers executed the choreography to the alternative soundtrack. The piece was presented through a funky, futuristic lens, as opposed to the classic organization of a traditional Shakespeare production, so the unique set, sounds, and costumes that distorted the audience’s reality made the dancer’s delivery of the plot that more impressive.
As per Shakespeare’s original piece, the performance had a dreamlike, or perhaps nightmarish, quality. Even reimagined, the show stayed true to story, and was a fun, updated version of a time-honored work.
Though there is only one more ballet production scheduled to show in Nice while I am here, I plan on putting it on the top of my to-do list. Once I return home, I can’t wait to explore ballet performances in New York, D.C., and beyond!
- National Theater of Nice
- Promenade des Arts, 06300 Nice
Paix, Amour, Nice