Tuesday, October 18, 2011


By Nancy Condit

The Oklahoma City Ballet will open its 40th season this Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd and 24th,
in the Civic Center Music Hall with the classical comic ballet Coppelia.

"The company is dancing wonderfully and I am very proud of this production.  In addition, I am dancing the role of Dr. Coppelius!  Well, it’s a character role without much dancing, but I am having a great time!" wrote artistic director Robert Mills in an email. 

The full-length ballet, which premiered in 1870, is also identified as the last great ballet of the romantic ballet period by Jack Anderson, retired dance critic of the New York Times, in his book Ballet & Modern Dance, A Concise History, 2nd edition. 

The story is that of an inventor, Doctor Coppelius, who has made a life-sized doll.  It is so real that Franz, the village swain, is infatuated with it.  He drops Swanhilda for the doll, who takes the doll's place and pretends to come to life. Photo provided.

The score is by Leo Delibes, and the original choreography and libretto are by Arthur Saint-Leon, with additional choreography by artistic director Robert Mills and ballet master Jacob Sparso.  The ballet is based on two stories by E. T. A. Hoffman, Der Sandmann (The Sandman), and Die Puppe (The Doll).  Hoffman also wrote The Nutcracker, the story of a nutcracker which came to life.  The ballet is enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Dancing the leading roles are Miki Kawarmura as Swanhilda, and new company dancer Yui Sato as Franz.
Artistic director Robert Mills is dancing the character role of Dr. Coppelius.

Coppelia will be performed at Saturday, October 22nd, and at on Sunday the 23rd.  Children are encouraged to bring their favorite dolls to the doll parade at before the Sunday matinee.   Saturday evening at , Camille Hardy, associate professor of dance history from the University of Oklahoma, will give a lecture on the history of Coppelia in the south lobby of the Civic Center.

Tickets for Coppelia range from $52 to $31 for adults, and $47 to $26 for seniors.  Four packs are available in the mezzanine for families of four for $50 by calling 843-9898.

For more information visit the website www.okcballet.com or call 843-9898.

 c. Nancy Condit
See my article with Robert Mills at http://www.ionokmag.com/ 

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