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Coppellia, act 1

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My sister and I were watching the first act in Coppellia and we were trying to figure out what Swanilda is offering to her boyfriend. It looks like a pair of feathers or something. Franz refuses the offer, but the other male dancers seem to have accepted the same gift from their girlfriends.

So what is it that is going on here in the first act of Coppellia. I am watching the Kultur tape staged by the Austrailian Ballet. Also a little puzzled about the people who are dancing with the priest (or minister) and what that is all about.

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From the program notes of the version of "Coppélia" which was danced last season by the POB school: "Looking at Franzta, Swanilda tells the story of an ear of wheat which reveals all the secrets.

She takes an ear of wheat in a sheaf. She puts it close to her ear and seems to listen to it, then she tells Frantz to listen to it: the shaft tells her than he is unfaithful... Frantz replies that he hears nothing. That's because he doesn't want to hear! Swanilda does the same with a friend of Frantz, who smiles and pretends that he hears very clearly what the ear of wheat says. Frantz wants to protest, but Swanilda stops his gesture, and, breaking the ear of wheat, tells him that all is broken between them."

Also, the reason why the crowd is there is the blessing of a new bell for the church, so perhaps there is a priest because of that?

But I think that there are several versions of "Coppélia", so it might be a little bit different in the version you have.

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In the old RB production, I recall the priest, shovel hat and all, going around from couple to couple in the background, apparently looking for a couple who had banns of marriage to be called out in church. He had a little black notebook - either that or he was making odds on Franz and Swanilda.;)

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