Saw Coppelia on Friday night, 3/25. Never saw Coppelia live, and I was a little tentative about a Balanchine full length (which still sounds weird to me), but it was pretty awesome. Maria Kochetkova was great as Swanilda. It’s just such a cute and funny ballet. I think I was smiling almost the entire time. Props to the dolls in Act 2, as well as Damian Smith’s Dr. Coppelius, which was eccentric but relatable. Aside from her blinking eyes, MK’s Coppelia was amazingly doll-like even when viewed from the 4th row.
Act 3 was kind of weird (still don’t understand the “Discord and War” section). The variations were all performed well, with Sofiane Sylve and Sarah Van Patten their usual solid selves. But the dances/choreography didn’t speak to me strongly; the pdd also seemed somewhat less memorable compared to the standard canon. It was, however, the girls in the SFB school that stole the show in Act 3. For their age, they were surprisingly well behaved and a solid corps, moving together and keeping their nerves. Although they did add a little to the “pink overload” factor. This ballet does not lack in saccharinity. And I swear that near the very end, the entire corps was doing the caramelldansen move, which cracked me up. It still makes me chuckle when I think about it.
I wish I could’ve seen Vanessa Zahorian and Frances Chung in the role. There’s a short article in Pointe about FC in Coppelia (link), and a little Q&A with VZ on DancePulp (link). Her answer to the question seems bold to me, but also breaks my heart.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
“Having the director not like you anymore or see you as his favorite, so finding a way to do it for myself. It’s easy for any director to become bored with their dancers especially after twelve years in the same company. So we have to remember its really for ourselves not their approval only.”
This season has gone by fast, and I wasn’t able to go to as many performances as I’d have liked. The sacrifices we make for our art… I’m definitely regretting that I missed Theme and Variations. I can only hope they reprise that soon. Will see Program 6 next week, which should be fun. I think I’ll skip Little Mermaid unless some very interesting casting is made.