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
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…