Gabriella Yudenich takes on three roles in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Gabriella Yudenich takes a leap during rehearsals for "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," opening March 7. Credit: Alexander Iziliaev
Gabriella Yudenich takes a leap during rehearsals for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” opening March 7.
Credit: Alexander Iziliaev

The Pennsylvania Ballet is lucky soloist Gabriella Yudenich gave up on her first career goal.

“I really wanted to be a paleontologist,” Yudenich says with a laugh. “I sometimes still regret it — I have fantasies of digging up dinosaur bones.”

The Voorhees, N.J.-native is dancing in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s version of George Balanchine’s classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” opening March 7 at the Academy of Music. She’ll play three different roles, including the lead, Titania, and Hippolyta the Queen of the Amazons, during the show’s seven-performance run.

“You’re rehearsing in one role with one cast in the morning, then another in the afternoon,” Yudenich says. “It’s awesome that you keep switching — but it’s also very challenging.”

The show, set to a Felix Mendelssohn score, is based on Shakespeare’s comedic fantasy about a mix of mortals and immortals searching for their soul mates in the forest. (In case you slept through high school English, it’s the one that gives us the line “the course of true love never did run smooth,” and illustrates that maxim by featuring Titania the fairy queen falling in love with Bottom, a human who’s been turned in an ass.)

Yudenich and the other dancers spent about a month rehearsing the show, though they started learning bits and pieces of the choreography long before that, in between rehearsals for other shows — which can occasionally get confusing for a lead dancer and new mom like Yudenich. But the 29-year-old is an old pro: both of her parents danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet, and she started following in their footsteps — literally — at age 6.

“I quit on and off as a kid. I was fascinated by dinosaurs. But then I decided I wanted to be a ballerina,’ Yudenich says. “I told my mom, and she said ‘Oh, we have a lot of work to do.’”

 

If you go
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Pennsylvania Ballet
March 7 to 17
Academy of Music
240 S. Broad St.
$30 to $125
www.paballet.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…