I am one of those dancers that must have a storyline in mind while dancing. Even in class, I pretend I am Giselle, Kitri, Juliet or Odile during barre, otherwise I find my mind wandering. But this concept is even more important to me when performing in a ballet, especially one with a storyline like A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
However, as a fairy, I have little with which to work. In the ballet, I appear in just two scenes, which makes it even more difficult to establish a character. Mr. Clifford, in an earlier rehearsal, told us that he wants “the lights to come up and the audience to see nothing but beauty” personified. So I suppose that means I must not only appear beautiful, I must believe it to be so, inside and out. But is there more to fairies than beauty? One Thursday afternoon, I decided to do some research on fairy lore throughout history.
On Wikipedia, I found that fairies are generally thought to appear as beautiful women but with supernatural powers. Also, in ancient Greece (incidentally the setting of AMND) fairies were called nymphs and thought to be the handmaidens, or servants, of the various gods and goddesses. So as Titania’s fairy, I am her handmaiden and in my dance am singing (and dancing) her and her changeling boy to sleep. I also appear in a later scene when Titania is humiliated by being found to have slept with Bottom.
Drawing from that assorted information, I am essentially a fairy-in-waiting (with beauty as well as mystical powers) for a fairy queen (with even more beauty and mystical powers). So as a fairy, I am to be beautiful, bright and loyal to my queen yet proud of my position. The fairy presented in the ballet is in fact an idealized woman as well as the essence of what ballet supposed to be: exquisite, intelligent, devoted and confident.