Coppélia Is Back
There’s just something about a comic love story. You know, a gal-guy romance in which the gal loves the guy and the guy loves her back … as well as a beautiful non-human effigy of a woman. Here, think blow up toy, sexbot, mannequin – Wasn’t there an ’80s movie with that title? – whatever.
From June 1st until the 10th, 2012, dear hedonists, a “Mannequin-meets-Pinnochio” ballet can be found at the Pacific Northwest Ballet: Coppélia. (Your Hedonista recently attended a performance as media.)
The ballet Coppélia - a very kid-friendly production, aside from its length of three acts and two intermissions – originally premiered on May 25, 1870 and was actually based on two dark and macabre stories by German Romantic fantasy and horror writer E.T.A. Hoffmann: Der Sandmann (The Sandman), and Die Puppe (The Doll). (Incidentally, his writings also inspired the Nutcracker ballet.) In more modern terms, think of it as being rather like creating a Finding Nemo production based on the novel Jaws.
With a breathtaking stage complete with a wisteria-ceiling in the village square, music by Léo Delibes, and a killer cast – including PNB’s own Artistic Director Peter Boal in the role of Dr. Coppelius himself as guest artist – this production truly pulls the audience into a fairy tale. Highlights include a mesmerizing Carpathian-Polish mazurka and the animated dolls in Dr. Coppelius’ Secret Workshop. And the lovers – Swanilda (Rachel Foster) and Franz (Benjamin Griffiths) – were both comical and convincing.
PNB’s Coppélia premiered a couple years back at the exact same time of the year, on June 3, 2010, with the very romantic sets and costumes by Italian designer Roberta Guidi de Bagno. A total of eight performances, at Seattle Center’s Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, with only five performances remaining; tickets start at $28, with group discounts for parties of 10 or more, $5 tickets for teens aged 13 to 19 years old (through Teen Tix), as well as $15 for a single or $25 for a pair of tickets for those 25 years of age and younger on the June 1st, 7th, and 8th performances only. Oh, and student and senior (65+) “rush” tickets can be purchased at the McCaw Hall box office starting 90 minutes prior to the show (valid ID required and subject to ticket availability).
The takeaway: when faced with a faux lover or the real thing, take the real thing, dear hedonists.