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Royal Ballet - Coppelia (Dec. 2019 - Jan. 2020)

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15 minutes ago, Fonty said:

Morera is one of my favourite dancers, but I was only thinking last night how rare it is for me to see her in a tutu.

 

Mine too. She is such a very thoughtful, subtle, elegant dancer and a very fine actor. I very much regret not having seen more of her in the past couple of years, and good point about the tutu roles.

 

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16 minutes ago, Fonty said:

It was also great to see so many children in the audience.  I do hope they put Coppelia on again next year, it was such a refreshing change from the Nutcracker, and the youngsters were loving it.

 

I'd be happy to have Coppélia AND Nutcracker next year!

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Thanks for the name Dawnstar ....I think if you  saw Lazaro Corrales on stage you would do a double take he looks so like Caesar!! 

I rather like the idea that he would be performing on stage in the same show as his older brother when Caesar has the lead role!! 

He has a similar build as well I hope it was him anyway....I will look out for him next Saturday afternoon just in case!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Damn it just failed to send a piccie of Lazaro Corrales 😩

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Yay that's it! This is Lazaro Corrales! Sorry to,be marginally off thread 🙄 But I had been wondering how he got to RBS so perhaps via YAGP? I haven't seen a lot of his dancing so don't know what his level of talent is but must be nice to have his older brother around.

Some of these young dancers are so brave travelling across the World to get their training.

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1 hour ago, Rob S said:

 

I just saw the likely candidate in Act 1 this evening, basically the one that isn’t Asian looking....now I just need a mug shot of Lazaro Corrales to compare him with 🙂

 

The young man you have in mind is not Lazaro Corrales!!!!

 

But let's get back.to the show! It was a real thrill to have William Bracewell on stage as Franz today giving the kind of performance which we have come to expect of him: superb characterisation (completely in role in every respect); a real connection with, and concern for, his partner; and very stylish dancing. Bravo.

Akane Takada wasn't as feisty as the other Swanildas I've seen but she played against type very successfully and brought off every aspect of the role.

Tom Whitehead's Dr C was, if anything, an even more sympathetic character than at yesterdays' matinee and I like that.

 

[My only problem was that I decided to follow that treat with BRB's Nutcracker at the RAH and what I felt about that adaptation of Sir Peter Wright's glorious production is best not shared on this forum!]

 

 

Edited by capybara
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1 hour ago, Fonty said:

Has nobody got anything to say about Morera and Campbell last night

I thought they were great! There is so much dancing for Swanilda, and I loved  Laura Morera's particular interpretation of the role. Campbell was again the perfect partner, and delivered another virtuoso solo.

The Friends were particularly impressive, I thought...Dean, Dias, 

Maeda, Roscoe, Sasaki, and finally Lubach who was especially on form IMHO.

My only slight criticism was that Gartside didn't seem to suit the role of Coppelius all that well for some reason.

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29 minutes ago, capybara said:

The young man you have in mind is not Lazaro Corrales!!!!

 

Apologies for my error. Is anyone prepared to say who he is or is individual identification of RBS students not allowed?

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1 hour ago, Rob S said:

Awww Yuhui is wonderful, with top notch knee knocking 😍😂

Great company performance. Choe, Acri, Gasparini and Storm-Jensen in the main dancing roles made this a wonderful end to the 

Royal Ballet year. Choe, deadly funny in the 2nd act, Acri matching very illustrious dancers in the 3rd act. Gasparini as Aurora, magnificent. Storm-Jensen in absolute control as Prayer.

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For me, the sensational débuts of the charismatic Cesar Corrales and Mayara Magri on 30 December 2019 eclipsed everyone and everything else on stage in this delightful revival of the de Valois production of “Coppélia”.  As this was not in the resident company’s repertoire from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s when I saw multiple performances of every programme presented at Covent Garden, it was my first opportunity to see Osbert Lancaster’s jolly designs, which set the ballet firmly in a timeless European fantasy-land, although some of the costumes, characteristic of 1950s ballet designs, do not compare so favourably.  Dance-wise, I thought the Mazurka and Czardas in Act I were performed with great panache, if somewhat lacking in the épaulement which would have made the Mazurka truly stylish.  At this performance, the Dance of the Hours in Act III seemed to be somewhat tentatively performed, especially in the circle in which each dancer in turn does a single pirouette from a kneel and ending in a kneel, rather than with the serenity the music suggests.  The Prayer solo would also have benefited from more serenity and Dawn (Aurora) would have benefited from being more radiant.

 

I was disappointed in Thomas Whitehead’s interpretation of Dr. Coppélius.  Yes, he had found a funny walk and indulged in some slapstick humour, but he did not develop a character I could care about.  According to the well-known saying, it was Delibes who gave ballet music a heart and nowhere should this be more evident than in the beautiful moment (especially with conductor Tom Seligman galvanising the orchestra) when Dr. Coppélius believes he has brought Coppélia to life.  Although this moment was movingly portrayed by Magri, Whitehead just took it in his stride, rather than touching our hearts with his wonderment, or with pathos when he discovers his beloved creation has been destroyed.  And it is my one criticism of the otherwise sparkling production of this ballet that there is no remorse, forgiveness or reconciliation between Coppélius and the two protagonists, Swanilda and Franz.  In these roles, Magri and Corrales are ideally cast and perfectly matched in both artistry and temperament, with sunny smiles which light up the auditorium and beyond.  There was such naturalness in their acting that everything they did felt completely spontaneous, despite obviously having been meticulously rehearsed.  As the two squabbling teenagers in love, they delighted me with their completely natural reactions to everything and in making their characters so believable and engaging that they kept my attention even when supposedly out of the limelight at the side of the stage.

 

Franz may have a roving eye and be only too aware of his attractiveness to the ladies, but Corrales made sure from his body language that we knew his heart belonged to Swanilda.  Likewise, Magri, for all her protestations, made it clear that Franz was her true love, which made the pas de deux in which the ear of corn fails to confirm his faithfulness particularly poignant.  Corrales may have perfectly caught the character of the bucolic villager but there was no denying the nobility of his dancing, notably in the Czardas (which was, after all, originally a Hungarian court dance), bringing a touch of class to it with the aristocratic carriage of his upper body and his beautifully clean, precise footwork.  He had to wait until Act III to unleash the fireworks but it was worth the wait to witness his flawless technique and the power of his pirouettes and leaps, especially in the final manège, and all set off with his dazzling smile.

 

The spirited and utterly charming Magri enchanted from her first entrance, demonstrating a lovely ballon from her first solo onwards, and bringing an exuberant energy to this tour de force of a role.  I particularly liked the panache she brought to the Spanish solo in Act II.  I loved her grace in the final pas de deux, and the moment that will stay in my mind is the beauty of her delicate backbend en pointe over Corrales’ arm.  These were débuts to treasure from these two highly accomplished young artists!  Spending the evening down the road at the Coliseum at yet another enthusiastically received performance of “Nutcracker”, I marvelled at how lucky we are in London to have such a wonderful selection of Christmas treats!

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42 minutes ago, Irmgard said:

According to the well-known saying, it was Delibes who gave ballet music a heart and nowhere should this be more evident than in the beautiful moment (especially with conductor Tom Seligman galvanising the orchestra) when Dr. Coppélius believes he has brought Coppélia to life.  Although this moment was movingly portrayed by Magri, Whitehead just took it in his stride, rather than touching our hearts with his wonderment, or with pathos when he discovers his beloved creation has been destroyed.  And it is my one criticism of the otherwise sparkling production of this ballet that there is no remorse, forgiveness or reconciliation between Coppélius and the two protagonists, Swanilda and Franz. 

 

My problem with it exactly, with every cast I've seen thus far.

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1 hour ago, Irmgard said:

And it is my one criticism of the otherwise sparkling production of this ballet that there is no remorse, forgiveness or reconciliation between Coppélius and the two protagonists, Swanilda and Franz. 

16 minutes ago, alison said:

My problem with it exactly, with every cast I've seen thus far.

But Swanilda does offer her purse of money to Dr Coppélius as a gesture of remorse (though he doesn't need to take it because he's then given two purses by the Duke), and they then all smile happily, and he then waves enthusiastically down at them on their marriage. They're clearly all reconciled at the end. It's not played out in detail, but it's all there.

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12 minutes ago, bridiem said:

 

But Swanilda does offer her purse of money to Dr Coppélius as a gesture of remorse (though he doesn't need to take it because he's then given two purses by the Duke), and they then all smile happily, and he then waves enthusiastically down at them on their marriage. They're clearly all reconciled at the end. It's not played out in detail, but it's all there.


Yes, I noticed that in all the performances I’ve seen. Dr C waves a blessing on the couple from the upstairs window through which he watches the dancing. 

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10 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

But Swanilda does offer her purse of money to Dr Coppélius as a gesture of remorse (though he doesn't need to take it because he's then given two purses by the Duke), and they then all smile happily, and he then waves enthusiastically down at them on their marriage. They're clearly all reconciled at the end. It's not played out in detail, but it's all there.

But this makes it about financial compensation and greed, especially when Coppelius asks the Duke for the second money bag!  The way both Swanildas I have seen offer him their money bag (which is most likely the fault of the production and not their interpretations) is as if to say "this will pay for the breakages" rather than apologising and consoling him for shattering his dreams!  In Ronnie Hynd's version, Swanilda and Franz kneel at Coppelius's feet to ask for forgiveness and do show genuine remorse and, if I remember correctly, Franz then receives a bear hug from Coppelius!  This is a very touching scene and again, gives the ballet heart, which for me is somehow lacking when Coppelius is only given the chance to play broad comedy.

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I thought Morera offered the money bag in a spirit of genuine remorse, but it was such a fleeting glimpse it didn't really stand out.  It was only because I was looking for it that I noticed at all.  Otherwise, I don't particularly like the way in which Coppelius is portrayed by the RB, and I agree with previous comments.  

 

Which production is it where Coppelius is portrayed as a heartbroken old man, weeping over the failure of his experiment to bring the doll to life?  I remember being very moved by his loneliness and despair, and touched by the way in which Swanilda apologises for the hurt she has caused.  

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1 hour ago, Irmgard said:

But this makes it about financial compensation and greed, especially when Coppelius asks the Duke for the second money bag!  The way both Swanildas I have seen offer him their money bag (which is most likely the fault of the production and not their interpretations) is as if to say "this will pay for the breakages" rather than apologising and consoling him for shattering his dreams!  In Ronnie Hynd's version, Swanilda and Franz kneel at Coppelius's feet to ask for forgiveness and do show genuine remorse and, if I remember correctly, Franz then receives a bear hug from Coppelius!  This is a very touching scene and again, gives the ballet heart, which for me is somehow lacking when Coppelius is only given the chance to play broad comedy.

 

Yes, it's true that it's all done in a slightly superficial way, but I think that the whole issue of Dr Coppelius's dreams being shattered in the previous act is not really highlighted in this production, so there probably isn't the leeway to then have great remorse etc in the final act. It's all light-hearted, throughout. Which I find quite a relief for a change! No need for a broken heart for once (ballet-going can be quite exhausting). But I agree that the pathos etc (and then the remorse/forgiveness) could be given more prominence.

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1 hour ago, Fonty said:

I thought Morera offered the money bag in a spirit of genuine remorse, but it was such a fleeting glimpse it didn't really stand out.  It was only because I was looking for it that I noticed at all.  Otherwise, I don't particularly like the way in which Coppelius is portrayed by the RB, and I agree with previous comments.  

 

Which production is it where Coppelius is portrayed as a heartbroken old man, weeping over the failure of his experiment to bring the doll to life?  I remember being very moved by his loneliness and despair, and touched by the way in which Swanilda apologises for the hurt she has caused.  

 

Is it Ronald Hynd's for ENB?

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21 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

Is it Ronald Hynd's for ENB?

 

 I think so.

In the RB's production, there is heartbreak as the Act 2 curtain goes down but the Act 3 forgiveness is perfunctory. A pity!

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

Is it Ronald Hynd's for ENB?

 

MIght be, Janet.  It is a very long time since I have seen Coppelia by any company.

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Posted (edited)

Actually, does Coppelius merit remorse?
He creates a beautiful doll but with our 21st century insight, we might suspect that his intentions are less than innocent.
Franz enters by a ladder but his intentions are, arguably, every bit 'romantic' as Romeo's masked gate-crashing a private (Capulet) party and subsequent entry into a private garden to romantically pursue a 13 year old girl before subsequently marrying her without her parent's consent and sleeping with her after killing her cousin in an anger infused brawl.

Coppelius deliberately drugs Franz ( Rohypnol?)  necromantically intending to take from him, again without consent, his heart and other organs to selfishly infuse Coppelia with human characteristics. His mimes to the audience about her beauty suggest, again, that this is for his own carnal desires.

When Swanilda asks if he 'made' Franz, he lies to her about that too. He is clearly selfish, amoral and grasping (requesting two bags from the duke).

He is then caught out and exposed by Swanilda’s bravery.
So, why does he merit remorse?

 

Edited by RobR
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Ha ha well looking at it all like that maybe not!!


However in the Coppelia ballet world I think you are meant to think his ‘harnessing’ of Franz’s life force for the doll is a tad ridiculous so a little pity at such a crazy notion is in order for the silly old ......... 

Not sure about the original Coppelius in the Hoffman story though ...he is altogether much more sinister 😳 

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It never occurred to me that Coppelius was trying to kill Franz!  Surely he would have realised that the sudden disappearance of a popular young man courting the girl just across the square, but much admired by all the other young women in a small village, would be noticed immediately?  And then there would be the practical difficulties of disposing of a dead body.  Not to mention the giveaway sign of the ladder propped against the wall which could be a bit awkward for an elderly man to remove.  Given the light hearted nature of the ballet, I always thought of it as something similar to a blood transfusion; extracting some of life forces of a handy intruder to bring a doll to life.  

I am not suggesting that Coppelius should be too tragic a figure, but I think there is room for some of the interpretations to allow a little more pathos and a little less greed.  Then the happy ending is all the happier when everything gets sorted out to everyone's satisfaction.  

Actually, didn't we have the same conversation a while back about the portrayal of Alain in La Fille, who these days seems to be portrayed as a comic turn, rather than the more rounded character he used to be?

 

 

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23 hours ago, bridiem said:

 

I'd be happy to have Coppélia AND Nutcracker next year!


sorry off topic but last years pairing of les patineurs and the concert was very christmassy and perfect for children (maybe not with winter dreams in the middle though!). I’m keeping everything crossed for next year! I’m not a fan of the nutcracker myself

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Just managed to book a last minute ticket for Saturday’s matinee. I had the screen for the tickets on my work PC and kept refreshing the screen !

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19 hours ago, LinMM said:

Ha ha well looking at it all like that maybe not!!


However in the Coppelia ballet world I think you are meant to think his ‘harnessing’ of Franz’s life force for the doll is a tad ridiculous so a little pity at such a crazy notion is in order for the silly old ......... 

Not sure about the original Coppelius in the Hoffman story though ...he is altogether much more sinister 😳 

I need to read more of this thread!! Am I wrong to now suggest perhaps there are borrowings in the story of Coppélia from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or earlier Prometheus stories???

A more light hearted take on re-creating life???

Just as many fairy tales & pantomime storylines actually often stem from far darker fables & myths? 

I really want to see this though no idea how to manage it logistically even if Friday Rush works in my favour!!! 

One success with that when on a computer but disaster another whenn using phone with screen timing out & needing to refresh constantly.....am I missing any tips?

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56 minutes ago, Peanut68 said:

One success with that when on a computer but disaster another whenn using phone with screen timing out & needing to refresh constantly.....am I missing any tips?


only way is to be on a PC with good broadband connection I think!

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Posted (edited)

And I’ve missed  it timewise today I realise!!!! Drat.... unlikely to be Coppélia for me & DD 😟

Edited by Peanut68
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