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TCM to show "Mysterious House of Dr. C[oppelius] in May

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#16 Richka



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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:36 PM

Funny story about this film which i have long waited to see. When I was resident choreologist for the Harkness Ballet, during my first week one day I went into a studio and saw this girl dancing a variation with the Coppelia music. As I am very familiar with this ballet and that variation (it was the first ballet I saw at Covent Garden, London) and have the fully notated score in Benesh notation) I noticed she was dancing the steps quite differently. i didn't realize at the time it was Claudia Corday who had 4 years before danced the role in this movie.
I recorded this TCM showing of the film on my DVR but have not seen it all as yet.
The company was really the Harkness Youth Dancers that Mrs. Harkness had turned into the Harkness Ballet, having just fired the original company. Claudia suddenly disappeared from Harkness House and never knew what happened to her. Her sister, Clara, was in the company and we toured that year (1970) mainly in Spain. Mrs. Harkness had rented the Liceo Theater in Barcelona for an entire month just to rehearse in.
So, ever since 1970 I have wanted to see this film but considered it lost. I only heard rumors about it and I believe there was a 35 mm copy of it in a closet at Harkness House as there was also an entire documentary on film about the tour to Russia by the Joffrey company (sponsored by Mrs. Harkness) prior to the Joffrey/Harkness debacle. Wonder what happened to it after the closure of Harkness House and the company.
Interesting to find out, just now, that it was the dancers from the Liceo opera house in this film. The Liceo is a famous opera house and I got very familiar with it during that month. You had to go through a fruit and veggie market to get to the stage door and I remember rehearing in a subterrainian cellar of sorts; cold and damp. On stage you could look up beyond the flies and see there were apartments and people living up there and smell the odors of cooking. Of course this was years ago
So it finally showed up.

#17 duffster


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Posted 07 May 2011 - 08:31 PM

The Liceo opera house in Barcelona was (I agree) very unusual. I remember it having (many years ago) a tremendous rake. When we performed Monument for a Dead Boy by Rudi van Dantzig, you felt as though as you had a few drinks too many, the rake playing havoc with your balance. It also had a few boxes,for the audience, right next to the stage, so they could watch everything that went on backstage. I also remember the market near the stage door- I hated the odd odors from there. I also believe that the theatre had a claque.

#18 volcanohunter


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Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

Owing to the death of Jackie Cooper, the May 13 showing of The Mysterious House of Dr. C. has been pulled in favor of Treasure Island and The Champ.

#19 volcanohunter


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Posted 15 January 2014 - 04:43 PM

Dr. Coppelius will return to Turner Classic Movies on Wednesday, January 29, at 6:15 p.m. ET. This is the version of the film without narration, songs and animation, just dancing.



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