LakeCities Ballet Theatre Presents Coppelia March 29-31

The LakeCities Ballet Theatre dancers will perform the popular, family-friendly ballet Coppelia March 29-31.

“It is definitely one of the most performed and popular comic ballets of our time due to its charming storytelling and mischievous characters,” says Kelly Lannin, artistic director of LakeCities Ballet Theatre. “The ballet was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint Leon with music composed by Leo Delibes. It premiered in Paris in 1870.”

The plot of the ballet centers around two young lovers, Swanilda and Franz, who encounter Dr. Coppelius and the life-size doll he has created that appears to be so real that the entire village believes it is the doctor’s daughter, Coppelia. Franz becomes infatuated with the beautiful Coppelia, who sits on her balcony reading each day.

“The feisty Swanilda suspects that things are not as they appear and decides to investigate and teach Franz a Lesson,” Kelly says. The role of Swanilda will be played by Mikaela Seale, a senior at Hebron High School and member of LakeCities Ballet Theatre for five years. She has attended the summer programs at American Ballet Theatre and Ballet West.

Guest dancers Nigel Burgoine and Steven Loch will join the LakeCities Ballet company in the performance. Nigel, a former principal dancer with the London Festival Ballet and current artistic director of the Ballet Theatre of Toledo, will play the role of Dr. Coppelius. Steven, a soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet and an alumnus of LakeCities Ballet Theatre and Ballet Conservatory, will play the role of Franz.

“Because it is a comedy, it is easy for the audience to follow the story, and you find yourself laughing often and anticipating what will happen next,” Kelly says. “It does return to a more traditional ballet feeling with beautiful dancing in the final act, which is the wedding of Franz and Swanilda.”

Kelly says the intricate set, originally built in 1991 when LakeCities Ballet first presented the ballet and revamped by Art Director Tom Rutherford, offers the perfect backdrop for Coppelia.                                                                                                                                   

“Tom has two Emmy Awards for his work with the television show Wishbone that was popular in the late ’90s, and we are lucky to have him,” Kelly says.

In addition, costume designers Carla Mowery and Nancy Loch have recreated costumes to perfectly suit the story.

“They both design, construct and organize our beautiful costumes,” Kelly says. “Because tutus are so expensive, often they must take a tutu and totally redecorate it for different ballets.”

And the dancers bring the story to life, Kelly says, with their artistry and talent.

They take daily classes to maintain their strength and technique and rehearse three days per week for about seven to 10 hours, depending on their roles.

“The dancers do work incredibly hard to bring this story to life,” Kelly says. “Dancers work hard to study the character so they are able to tell the story without words, but they must also do it while dancing with the technical demands of classical ballet.

“The artistic and production staff and the Board of Directors of LakeCities Ballet Theatre work hard to give our dancers the sets, costumes and choreography they deserve to match their hard work and dedication,” Kelly says. “Coppelia will be a perfect example of dance, theater, sets, costumes and music coming together to create something special.”

For more information about Coppelia and the LakeCities Ballet Theatre, visit LakeCitiesBallet.org.