ABB 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Albany Berkshire Ballet will commemorate its half century anniversary as a professional nonprofit ballet company with a dynamic year of new directions, collaborations, performances, and special events to celebrate this milestone with the communities it serves and its vast extended family around the world. ABB’s 50th anniversary season will be a blend of proud tradition and new exploration as it presents repertory on over a dozen stages in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, ranging from beloved full length ballets to bold contemporary work that delves into some of the most challenging issues of our time.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
In addition to a tri-state tour of its 45th annual production of The Nutcracker, ABB will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Albany, NY, Northampton, MA and Pittsfield MA Aug 23–Sep 7. Albany Berkshire Ballet’s magical two act retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy will be staged and choreographed by Paula Weber. “One of the things that is so rewarding about this 50th anniversary season is that we are getting to work with some of our people, extraordinary artists like Paula who have contributed to the past success of the company,” says Associate Artistic Artistic Director Mary Talmi.
This production marks the first time that ABB has toured an additional full length ballet since a 2009 Midsummer production had to be canceled, due to the economic collapse that downsized many performing arts companies, and ended others. Albany Berkshire Ballet has previously delighted audiences with its productions of Midsummer several times before, beginning in 1987, and again throughout the 1990s, in productions staged from Burlington to Sarasota, Florida.
One of Albany Berkshire Ballet’s most celebrated productions returns for a 2019 tour, reinvented with new choreography by Paula Weber. In this magical two-act ballet telling of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Queen Titania and King Oberon rule over the fairies and toy with the lives of mortals as they manipulate mismatched human lovers in ecstatic dance. With enchanting music by Felix Mendelssohn and stunning original set art by Thurston Munson, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is sure to delight all ages and experience levels.
A special preview of this production will be performed on August 17, as ABB celebrates a half century with a night of dinner, dance and revelry at its 50th anniversary jubilee event, The Golden Age of Dance, in the ballroom of the newly renovated Berkshire Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield.
Later in the year, ABB will tour its acclaimed production of The Nutcracker for the 45th time, with performances in Pittsfield, Burlington, Albany and Springfield Nov 29- Dec 21. “One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been to see this tradition grow, to see it become a legacy passed down through generations of families and become a part of these communities,” said Artistic Director Madeline Cantarella Culpo, who has helmed the production since its first debut in 1974.
November 30, 3:00PM & 7:00PM and December 1, 1:00PM — Flynn Center, Burlington, VT
December 7, 2:30PM & 6:30PM and December 8, 1:30PM & 4:30PM — Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA
December 14, 1:30PM & 5:30PM and December 15, 1:00PM — The Egg, Albany, NY
December 21, 1:00PM & 4:30PM — Symphony Hall