Greensboro Ballet is thrilled to bring the classical ballet, “Coppelia,” to dowtown Greensboro this Spring, but there’s only one problem. Most people, even some self-proclaimed ballet lovers, have never heard of “Coppelia.” Even if you’ve never seen a ballet in your life, you’ve probably heard of “Swan Lake” or the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker.” Unfortunately, “Coppelia” is one of those jewels of the ballet world that many folks can’t even pronounce (koh-peyl-yuh), let alone tell you what it’s about.
“Coppelia” is a little bit mystery, a little bit of a love story and a whole lot of funny! It tells the story of two lovers, Swanhilda and Franz, who are on the eve of their wedding. In their village also lives the strange, but magical, old Dr. Coppelius. One day, both of our lovers see a beautiful young woman sitting and reading on the balcony of Dr. Coppelius’ house.
Swanhilda tries to be friendly to the young woman, that everyone assumes is his daughter, but Coppelia completely ignores Swanhilda’s kind attempts at conversation. Then misguided Franz sees Coppelia’s beauty and immediately thinks he has fallen in love. Swanhilda’s jealousy is ignited and she calls off the wedding and decides to confront Coppelia about stealing her true love. Swanhilda’s friends find the key to Dr. Coppelius’ house and as they sneak inside his house, the high jinks begin. What no one realizes is that Coppelia is actually a life-sized, life-like doll.
(For the entire story, click here.)
The parts of the lovers, Swanhilda & Franz, will be performed by special guests artists, Anna Porter Wilkes-Davis and her real-life husband, Journy Wilkes-Davis. Triad audiences may remember the Wilkes-Davis dancers from Greensboro Ballet’s holiday productions of “The Nutcracker” in which they performed as both the Snow Kings & Queen, and as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
The hilarious role of Dr. Coppelius will be performed by Thom Clower, who has also staged George Skibine’s version of “Coppeila” on the Greensboro Ballet dancers for this production. Mr. Clower came in October of 2016 to teach this comic ballet to Greensboro Ballet’s dancers and they have been rehearsing “Coppelia” ever since, even in the midst of “Nutcracker” rehearsals.
Greensboro Ballet recently sold out both of its “Tea with Clara” events this past December, so it decided that “Coppelia” needed her own tea party! However, since Coppelia is actually a doll, the Ballet thought it would be fun for guests to bring their favorite dolls with them to this event. “Tea with Coppelia” will take place at 1:45pm in the Renaissance Room of the Carolina Theatre before the March 25th performance of “Coppelia.” Ticket holders will dine on tea and sweet treats, create a doll-themed craft and get to meet the doll, Coppelia, as well as several other characters from the ballet. Guests are invited to bring their American Girl or similar doll, a Barbie doll, their baby doll or any other doll they would like to share this fun event. Tickets are $20 and are on sale through the Carolina Theatre Box Office.
Greensboro Ballet is proud to be a part of the rich artistic and cultural area known as downtown Greensboro. It continues to partner with downtown businesses, DGI, the parks located downtown, other artistic institutions it shares the Greensboro Cultural Center as a home and many of the downtown restaurants, as well. Since the Ballet will be presenting two late afternoon matinees of “Coppelia,” it thought it might be able to encourage its ticket holders to enjoy the many food options available to them before the performances. Thus, Ballet & Brunch, was conceived as a way to build awareness of the dining options in downtown Greensboro on the weekends.
Several downtown restaurants that offer Brunch (breakfast/lunch) on the weekends will give “Coppelia” ticket holders a 10% discount on their dining bill on either Saturday, March 25 or Sunday, March 26, or both. The participating restaurants include 1618 Downtown, Coffeeology, LaRue, Smith Street Diner and Undercurrent. For more information, hours and directions, audience members should check Greensboro Ballet’s website.
For all the basic information about “Coppeila” and how to get tickets, see below:
WHO: Greensboro Ballet
WHEN: March 25 at 3pm and March 26 at 3pm
WHERE: Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene Street, Greensboro, NC 27401
The beautiful Carolina Theatre, located in Greensboro’s thriving downtown area, will spring to life for a weekend in March as Greensboro Ballet presents the humorous ballet, Coppelia.
Based on the book by Charles Nuitter, after E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Der Sandmann,
Coppélia is considered one of the triumphant comic ballets of the 19th century. It tells the story of a love triangle between a girl, a boy and . . . a Doll!