The classic 19th century comic ballet "Coppélia" maybe old, but this tale of a beautiful doll coming to life is as delightful as ever. San Francisco Ballet and its artistic director Helgi Tomasson pleased the crowd with production of "Coppélia". Last night's final performance was truly delightful.
The set, by Judith Fugate, is lavish, ideally setting the scene of a village in Eastern Europe. Mischievous Swanilda danced by charming Vanessa Zahorian opened up the first Act embodying the character completely. Franz, danced by Taras Domitro played the role with the right level of arrogance and cheek. His light as a feather jumps and its height was quiet a thrill to the eye. Leo Delibes's music conducted by Ming Luke illustrated every action so perfectly and created an atmosphere. The choreography all combine to make this a quirky, sweet and memorable show.
Act 2 set revealed the mysterious and dark interior of Dr Coppélius' house perfectly reflecting his state of mind. Behind the velvet curtain sits Coppelia. The Act comes alive when Swanilda and her friends sneak into Coppélius's house. The entrance of dancers in one line, on toes, in tutus and the excitement when Coppélius's dolls come alive make the scene so charmingly amusing.
The highlights of Act 3 is undeniably Dedication of the Bells, Waltz of the Golden Hours dancing by San Francisco Ballet students. Dozens of little girls in pink tutus and tiara's displayed a darling and brilliant performance.
Vanessa Zahorian, Taras Domitros, Ruben Martin Cintas, who played mysterious Dr. Coppelius and the entire cast made this performance a memorable one. The darkstory was delivered with such humor and love.
Truly wonderful addition to San Francisco Ballet repertoire.
Text: JULIET BELKIN
Photo courtesy San Francisco Ballet