Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Ballet Of The Dolls

Ballet Of The Dolls

Ballet's bright and light-hearted fairytale returns to the stage in the Royal New Zealand Ballet's sparkling end-of-year production, The New Zealand Community Trust Season of Coppelia.

Coppelia tells the story of the lonely toymaker Dr Coppelius and his collection of mechanical wonders.

As his village buzzes with harvest festival preparations, he dreams of creating a doll with a soul. The mischievous Swanilda tricks him into believing his wish has come true, by changing places with the most beautiful doll of all - Coppelia.

First created in 1870 for the Paris Opera Ballet, Coppelia has its feet firmly planted in the traditions of classical ballet. There is magic in the air, a storyline to follow, elaborate sets and costumes, and rich orchestral music.

"Tights, tutus, tiaras and all - this is classical ballet in the traditional sense," says Gary Harris, the force behind this year's restaging.

"Coppelia is three acts of pure escapism. The antics of Dr Coppelia, Swanilda and her fiancé Franz will make you laugh. There's the naughtiness and sense of mystery when Swanilda and her friends break into the toyshop at night and sneak about. It's the childish thrill of doing something and being somewhere you know you shouldn't - the anticipation and thrill of possibly being caught. Everyone can relate to that. It's innocent and charming."

Set in a make-believe world teeming with fun characters, the ballet is a spectacular showcase for the dancers' technical skills and their character acting, he says.

"Coppelia is absolute fun to dance. It suits a company like the Royal New Zealand Ballet, as the roles of Swanilda and Franz are best suited to younger dancers. It's the perfect introduction to ballet if you've never seen a classical work before," he says.

The production stars the legendary Sir Jon Trimmer as Dr Coppelius. Says Harris: "Dr Coppelius is one of the great all-time roles for a character artist. Sir Jon brings so much warmth and experience to the stage. In his 45 years in the theatre, he has performed in eight different productions of Coppelia."

From the bustling village to Dr Coppelius' darkly-enchanted workshop, the production is a visual feast. Characters are elaborately dressed in colourful, jewel-encrusted costumes, even the peasants. It's what audiences have come to expect from Wellington-born Fredrikson, "whose name", The Weekend Australian observed, "is synonymous with opulence".

Delibes' happy-go-lucky score features melodic national dances, descriptive passages introducing the main characters, and musical effects that have captured hearts for more than 130 years. Orchestras in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch will perform it live.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news