Reviews of the Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet and Whatshisname in "Coppélia."
Sergei Polunin may choose to present himself as a bolshie adolescent in interviews ("being a ballet dancer isn't cool," he said earlier this week), but on stage he looks completely grown-up, sublimely free. Dancing Franz in this Stanislavsky production of Coppélia, he delivers a performance of mesmerising airiness and witty ease. It's a performance all the more cherishable, too, given that the production otherwise lacks so much.
The role of Franz’s lover Swanilda, however, played by the dainty Kristina Shapran, requires variety, from precise comic timing to classical grace to robotic doll dance (when she disguises herself as Coppélia). Shapran wavered on the second task, not quite capturing the flair of the demanding Swanilda.
The Evening Standard
In fact he’s chosen well. Roland Petit’s 1975 version of Coppélia is funny, sexy and psychologically acute. It plays to Polunin’s strengths — he’s adorably naughty from the moment he appears as youthful Franz, smitten by life-size dancing doll Coppélia, but stringing along his girlfriend.
The Arts Desk
The choreography is classical-style, fast and tittuping, with lots of Petit-isms (Petiteries?) - kissy-kissy and sauciness, Lindyhop stuck-out bums, shoulder shrugs and mock rage. The corps de ballet are soldiers and town-girls, bunnyhopping in boots, bustles and bonnets, in line-dances studded with kisses and ooh-la-la. Petit looks to have derived their steps from marionettes, hands patting hearts, bodies dropping forward or back as if a string had slackened - it dovetails neatly with the revelation of the doll Coppelia’s inner workings, and with the delightful sound of that cranky little organ in the orchestra.