A whimsical celebration of the summer solstice
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“The idea of Midsummer Weekend hasn’t really caught on in the U.S., unlike in some countries, especially in Northern Europe. Yet, in just a few years, it’s become a much anticipated and very well attended tradition here at the Gardens. The music, the free-flowing lyrical dance, the decorations, and any number of other elements blend together into something really special. It’s also fascinating to see the grounds in the early evening. The sweeping vistas, views of the house, even the look of the flowers, changes as the daylight fades. With the darkness, the illumination from the dozens of lanterns begins, and the effect is almost overwhelming.”
It all kicks off on Friday with a special program for families, “Find a Flower Fairy.” Kids (ages 4-8) are invited to follow clues to discover the enchanted fairy world that magically appears on the grounds at Midsummer. The event also features music and storytelling with Johnny Cuomo. The 45-minute sessions are scheduled from at 4:30, 5, 5:30, and 6 p.m.
Also that evening, enjoy some “Midsummer Jazz,” 7:30-9:30 p.m., with the appealing gardens as a backdrop. Stroll the Walled Garden and listen to the cool sounds of live jazz. Light refreshments will be served.
Then, on the following day, the main event, “Midsummer Night” will enchant the entire family. The gardens take on a special glowing appeal with lanterns and striking decorations, as the grounds fill with dancers from Lori Bellicose and her acclaimed Isadora Duncan Dance Company, 6-9 p.m.
Over 20 dancers dressed in Greek, Roman, and Renaissance-themed tunics and drapery will guide audience members from scene to scene throughout the grounds. Others will act as living statues in slow motion. Greek mythology will be used as thematic reference points for a variety of dance vignettes, performed in the modern, lyrical style of Isadora Duncan. Musical selections will vary from modern composers to classical favorites.