Friday, October 31, 2014

Coppélia Is Back

June 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno created the lavish storybook sets and costumes for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of the comic ballet Coppélia, choreographed by Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa).  Photo © Angela Sterling

Designer Roberta Guidi di Bagno created the lavish storybook sets and costumes for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of the comic ballet Coppélia, choreographed by Alexandra Danilova and George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust (after Marius Petipa). Photo © Angela Sterling, provided by PNB, and used with permission.

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.

Note: In order to comply with FTC Act 16 C.F.R. 255, Heed the Hedonist would like to disclose that it does receive media “comps” and/or media discounts – but not in exchange for favorable coverage, or for withholding unfavorable coverage, of the given venue/meal/performance/product/service.

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