Ballett Dortmund to Perform Ekman’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

Midsummer Night’s Dream/Photo: Leszek Januszewski

Ballett Dortmund, under the artistic direction of choreographer Xin Peng Wang, returns to Israel with an intriguing production of Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman – Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although the title evokes Shakespearean associations and images of fairies, gods, and wandering lovers, Ekman’s dreamer has his roots in Scandinavian mythology and traditions. Midsummer is a celebration held around the time of the summer solstice, the longest day in the year, and in the far north, the sun rules with over 18 hours of daylight. The music for the ballet was composed by Mikael Karlsson, and the 40 dancers onstage will be accompanied by a live orchestra. Performances will take place at the Israeli Opera from May 31 – June 3, 2023.

Midsummer celebrations originated in pagan, pre-Christian solstice celebrations; in Sweden, dancing around a maypole and decorating with greens are some of the festive traditions, as well as late night skinny dipping. Ekman’s ballet captures the heat and physicality of the festival as 40 dancers celebrate nature – dancing, tumbling, and tossing the golden straw that covers the stage. As the night and the dance progresses these dancer-dreamers enter a realm of myth and sensuality.


Alexander Ekman created Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Swedish Ballet and it premiered in Stockholm in 2015. The music is composed by Mikael Karlsson, a longtime collaborator of Ekman’s since 2012. Among their joint works are: Tyll, which premiered at the Royal Swedish Ballet in 2012 and held its US premiere at the Joffrey Ballet in 2015; Play, which premiered at the Paris Opera Ballet in 2018; COW, which premiered at the Dresden Semperoper in 2016; and Rooms, which premiered at the Norwegian National Ballet in 2017.

Ballett Dortmund was founded in 1904, and its current company of dancers originate from 18 different countries. Xin Peng Wang was born in Dalian, China where he studied dance. He studied choreography at Peking Dance Academy and modern dance at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. As a dancer he was a principal dancer at the Peking Central Dance Company and Aalto Ballet in Essen. As a freelance choreographer he created works for the Hong Kong Ballet, the National Ballet of China Beijing, the Contemporary Dance Festival in New York, Semperoper’s Ballet in Dresden, Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam and the Royal Ballet van Vlaanderen Antwerpen. He was ballet director of the State Theater in Meiningen, South Thuringia from 2001 to 2003. He has been Theater Dortmund’s ballet director since 2003, taking the dance company to new heights, and creating more than 40 different productions, among them MozartThe Song of the Ocean (“Das Lied vom Meer”), The Last FutureElement XIdentities, as well as feature-length dramatic ballets like War and PeaceRomeo and JulietManon LescautFantasia, or Tales from the Vienna Woods.

Performances will take place at the Israeli Opera: Wednesday, May 31st at 20:00; Thursday, June 1st at 20:00; Friday, June 2nd at 13:00; Saturday, June 3rd at 21:00. Tickets may be ordered from the Israeli Opera website, or call: 03-6927777.