A Midsummer Night's Dream

Peter Boal couldn’t have known last year when he scheduled Dream that PNB would be losing eight dancers at the end of the season. Lucky for us, this familiar ballet is full of roles that give us one last chance to see them in their glory. As Hippolyta the Amazon queen, Ariana Lallone brings nuance and her natural gravitas to underline the royal character. In contrast, as Demetrius (and in the Divertissement pas de deux), Jeff Stanton seems to have found a kind of liberty; he bounds joyfully through the choreography. Alternating in the exquisite Divertissement duet, there’s a poignant return/departure dynamic between Kaori Nakamura (back from maternity leave) and veteran Olivier Wevers, who’s retiring. Their dance comes after all the Shakespearian complication of the love story has been tidied away. It’s an elegiac demonstration of love, and the two dance it as one long phrase, blooming like the scenery’s oversized cabbage roses until ending with an impossibly deep backbend. It's a bittersweet moment in a bittersweet production for PNB. SANDRA KURTZ

Fri., April 8, 7:30 p.m.; April 9-17, 2011

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