KINGSPORT — After more than 25 years, Kingsport Ballet is preparing to stage a complete classic again.
“Coppelia” will be performed under the artistic direction of Valeria Sinyavskaya and the assistant direction of Leonid Flegmatov. The ballet is due to take place at NPAC in Greeneville on April 16 and 17.
The plan is for the public to attend the ballet in person in limited numbers, as well as virtually. Should this change in the coming weeks, audiences will once again be able to purchase tickets for the live stream.
“We are very excited to stage ‘Coppelia’ in its entirety this spring, after last year’s preparations were halted due to the COVID-19 quarantine,” Sinyavskaya said. “Unlike the grand royal ballets we usually stage, such as ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Giselle’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Coppelia’ is charming and accessible, and the perfect ballet for our current company .
This ballet was originally staged in 1870 in Paris by the Imperial Theater of the Opera (later Paris Opera Ballet). The original choreographer was Arthur St. Leon to music by Leo Delibes, but modern productions are traditionally derived from revivals staged by Marius Petipa for the St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet in the late 19th century.
“Coppelia” is a lightly comedic ballet centered around a doll of the same name who was lovingly created by eccentric toymaker Dr. Coppelius. She is so realistic that a handsome village boy is in love with her and determined to win her love, despite the fact that he is already engaged toto be married to Swanhilda.
Set in the Old World village of Galicia, the three-act ballet takes the audience on an entertaining and charming ride, from the village in act one to the office of Dr. Coppelius in act two, where in the shades all life forms Large toys look so lifelike they can move, dance and play on their own.
Although comical at times, the plot becomes convoluted and heartbreaking, as Swanhilda and her friends sneak into Dr. Coppelius’ office and trick him into believing that Coppelia, his masterpiece, has come to life.
An accomplished cast
The cast of “Coppelia” will consist of dancers and in-house professionals from Kingsport Ballet Company, as well as students from the school. Local artists and designers collaborated to create sets and recreate costumes.
Dr. Coppelius will be played by Flegmatov. Principal ballerina and pupil of Kingsport Ballet, Sophie Kooy, recently received the Grand Prix, along with her partner, Garrett Frierson, at the Jewels Ballet Competition in New York for their interpretation of the pas de deux from “Coppelia”.
Frierson also received the Grand Prize for Best Boy, and their pas de deux from “Coppelia” was shortlisted for a special judge’s award by Era Juravlev, director of the Joffrey Ballet Academy in New York.
Flegmatov received second place in the Best Teacher Award at the festival, and Kingsport Ballet received second place in the Grand Prize for Best School. Mia Christie and Morgan Mullins, fellow Kingsport Ballet students, also received second and third prizes respectively.
“We are thrilled to stage this ballet with our own advanced and professional dancers in the lead roles – all dancers from Kingsport Ballet,” said Bertina Dew, Executive Director. “We are proud of the high-level training provided by our teachers to make such a production possible.