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Alexandra

What productions of "Coppelia" have you seen?

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Thanks, MinkusPugni, for reviving this thread.

I saw the original Balanchine/Danilova revival in the mid 70s with Patricia McBride. I admired her enthsusiasm and was interested to see this old classic revived. But I think I was not young enough (not a kid) or old enough (not at that time concerned about re-vivifying the 19th century tradition) to care much for it.

I've seen it several times recently (over two seasons) in Miami City Ballet's performances of the Balanchine version. Beautifully danced by well-coached young dancers who fall into the spirit of the thing perfectly. But it still doesn't charm me. Act III has all the wonderfully dansant Balanchine additions, but I get distracted by all the other stuff going on (including the busy-ness of set and costume). Maybe the modern Balanchine -- with his typically simple staging and costume-less costumes -- spoiled me for it.

Act II goes against my grain, no matter how much I try to go with the flow of it. It's rather the way I feel when NPR gives time to a commentator who's introduced as a "humorist": the dogged effort to be cute and funny pours icy water over the true possibilities of comedy. For me, at least.

But, on the whole, I do agree with much of what Paul says:

But my favorite version is NYCB's (I only know the tape). McBride is simply a riot in the part. All her geekiness, those brittle cabrioles, who cares -- it fits the role completely, and she's SO willing to DO THE MIME -- she's really enjoying it, trying to get Coppellia to come down from that balcony and dance with her, come play with us!!

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What puts it over the top for me, however, is Balanchine's character dances -- nothing tops his mazurka. The new stuff he added to the last act, esp Swanhilda's variation, with its flying assembles to pointe, is wonderful, but nothing tops his mazurka. I've showed it to a class of children who immediately made me stop the tape and started doing pas de bourrees on their heels and -- we had to study it and  just turn them loose for a while, we're talking about 12 year-olds. And I was totally with them -- it is an enormously satisfying dance, to ENORMOUSLY satisfying music.

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His czardas is pretty great, too.....

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Alexandra:

IYou reminded me of just how wonderful the Danish Coppelia was that I saw back in the '60's when they first came to NY. Frantz was Frederik Bjornson Swanhilda was Inge S. (I've forgotten the spellings and the names) but it was really great

I don't remember writing this. but I agree with what's written.

the two best Coppelias I've seen were 1)the Royal Danes when they first came to NY and the ABT version many years later with Erik Bruhn and Carla fracci.

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My first production of Coppelia was Ronald Hynd's for London Festival Ballet (now ENB)

Northern Ballet had a charming production set in a caravan by (I think) Robert de Warren

I saw a production at the Edinburgh Festival by an American Company with Rudolf Nureyev as Coppelius

The Royal Ballet's revival of their 1950s production

And ..... Sir Peter Wright's for BRB

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