The Washington Ballet
October 26 - 29
Warner Theatre

Experience an electrifying evening featuring a world premiere by Silas Farley set to DC native Duke Ellington’s Shakespearean suite Such Sweet Thunder. Iconic pas de deux’s by Sir Kenneth MacMillan (Romeo & Juliet) and Sir Frederick Ashton ("The Dream") plus Brett Ishida’s "when shall we three meet again" inspired by Macbeth will delight balletomanes and newcomers alike.

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About the Show

Beginning October 26, 2023



Warner Theatre

513 13th St NW

Washington, DC 20004

About the Play

Shakespeare’s stories have always resonated with the world of dance, and this production showcases the seamless marriage of these two art forms. With Prokofiev’s incredible score for Romeo and Juliet and Mendelssohn’s enchanting melodies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we embark on a journey where magic, passion, and tragedy unfold through the graceful movements of our talented dancers.

"Dowland Dances"

Choreographer Silas Farley’s piece, “Dowland Dances”, draws inspiration from the idea that art can transcend history, evolving and moving forward while drawing inspiration from the past. The piece is set to Sting’s rendition of music by the English Renaissance composer John Dowland.

Romeo and Juliet and “The Dream”

TWB performs one of the most beloved and unforgettable pieces in the ballet world: the “Balcony Pas de Deux” from Romeo and Juliet. The heart-wrenching story, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s magical choreography, and Prokofiev’s evocative score create a powerful combination that will move both the dancers and the audience. TWB also delves into the realm of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the fantastical and humorous elements of the original play and the characters Titania and Oberon come to life through the choreography of Sir Frederick Ashton.

“when shall we three meet again”

Adding a contemporary touch to the evening, Brett Ishida, renowned choreographer, brings her Shakespeare-inspired work titled “when shall we three meet again” back to the stage. Inspired by Macbeth, this piece takes the audience on a journey through the complexities of sisterhood, depicting powerful, strategic, and multifaceted women. Ishida’s work is often narrative-driven, always rooted in a poetic storyline. Each movement is emotionally charged, and invites the audience to engage with the characters on a deep and authentic level. With a background in literature and a deep appreciation for the classics, Ishida’s work is heavily influenced by ancient Greek poetry and philosophy, just as Shakespeare himself was.

Through her work, Ishida continues to channel the timeless brilliance of Shakespeare, drawing from his exploration of belonging, family, class, and politics. Just as the Bard’s writings remain relevant across generations, Ishida aims to create ballets that resonate with audiences both today and in the future.

Such Sweet Thunder

Choreographer Silas Farley brings Duke Ellington’s iconic album, Such Sweet Thunder, to life through his ballet of the same name. In his creative process, Farley immersed himself in Duke Ellington’s score, listening to it extensively and studying its intricate layers. Farley notes that Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, composed the album as a tribute to Shakespeare, with each movement alluding to different characters and themes from the playwright’s works.

Farley’s creative process centers on musicality and a devotion to classical ballet vocabulary. He views ballet as a universal movement language that can adapt and thrive in different cultural contexts and musical genres. This unique premiere promises to be a remarkable fusion of three companies—Shakespeare’s, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and The Washington Ballet—each known for their versatility and the ability to bring different characters to life.

A Letter From
The Folger Director