Last night Super Kid and I went to see English National Ballet’s Coppéllia. Super Kid has been doing ballet classes for a couple of years now, so I thought it would be great to take him to see his first ballet. It was perfect timing as only a couple of weeks ago Super Kid performed in his ballet school show so he could relate to the experience much more.
Coppéllia is a great ballet for children because the story is very easy to follow. Even so Super Kid and I had done some research beforehand and read the story of the ballet. I’d really recommend doing this before taking children to see ballet as I think they enjoy it much more if they understand what’s going on.
I found this synopsis of Coppéllia on English National Ballet’s website;
‘Swanilda is engaged to Franz but he has his eye on the mysterious girl sitting on the balcony of Dr Coppélius’s house. Franz doesn’t realise that she is a doll whom the toymaker is trying to bring to life and when Swanilda and her friends sneak into the Doctor’s workshop it looks as though he has succeeded. Love triumphs over all in this comedy of mistaken identity and the finale is a joyful celebration of the lovers’ wedding.’
Coppéllia is a funny ballet, with lots of playful mime. Shiori Kase as Swanilda was very playful and cheeky, especially in her dealings with Franz, played by Yonah Acosta. The sets are magnificent, with the colours of the costumes making them look like elaborate paintings. I must also mention the orchestra who I thought where exceptional.
The dancing, oh the dancing, the whole company where engaging, light, and entirely committed. Watching Shiori Kase spring about one footed, on pointe, was incredible, she defies nature! The large group pieces where beautifully choreographed, my highlights where the Russian style pieces, danced in adorable red boots with a wonderful ‘turned in’ movement, not usually a traditional ballet thing. I also really enjoyed Shiori Kase’s solo when she’s pretending to be the doll. Playful performance with brilliant technical execution. She is a beautiful dancer to watch.
The show was about two and a half hours long, including two 20 minute intervals for set changes. Regardless Super Kid was captivated for the entire ballet. I would definitely recommend English National Ballet’s Coppéllia as a great show for children aged seven upwards.
For more information you can visit English National Ballet’s website here. Or for more information about upcoming shows at Bristol Hippodrome visit here.
*Disclosure, I was provided with tickets for the purposes of writing this review.