The Western Australian ballet is performing Coppelia – one of my all time favorite ballets – this September and if you are in Perth I would highly recommend going along. It is the perfect ballet for children of all ages as it is so much fun.
Coppelia conjures such vivid memories for me. Over my time in the Ballet I was lucky enough to play many of the different roles. As younger dancers we took on the roles of the Dolls or Girlfriends of the lead Swandhilda. I loved sneaking into the Dolls house playing one of the girlfriends alongside my own real life-dancing friends. The set was so amazing it really felt like being a character coming to life from the pages of a fairytale.
We all looked up to the Principal Dancer who player the role of Swanhilda and loved playing along with the tricks she would play on Dr. Coppelia. During one of my performances of the Ballet, the role of Dr. Coppelia was player but an older, very experienced and very cranky Senior Artist. We seriously loved playing tricks on him – this would often result in a backstage reprimand that would always end in fits of laughter.
Later in my career I was fortunate enough to play Swandhilda across Australia and sneaking into the Dolls house was still my favourite part of the Ballet! Coppelia is fun and energetic but hard work as a dancer in the principal role. You dance the entire 3 acts and each one has a solo and the final Pas De Deux with Franz requires perfect technique. The Ballet is full of lots of fun tricks and allows for some showing off too which is great for the dancers and also the audience.
The music is fantastic and the costumes and sets are dazzling. The energy of this ballet is infectious, definitely one I will love taking my own children to and one that will always make me smile when I think about my time as a Dancer.