Coppelia – The Russian State Ballet of Siberia

Reviewed by Helen McWilliams

With a strong cast of stunningly elegant dancers and simply beautiful choreography, this comedy-ballet received a hearty reaction from the almost full house at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Monday night.

Coppelia is essentially a love story with the essence of ‘Pinocchio’ as it tells the tale of toy maker Dr Coppelius (played by Alexander Kuimov who displayed some hilarious facial expressions within his performance) who has made a life-like doll (Coppelia – played by Yana Tugeva) whom he loves as his ‘daughter’. Yana Tugeva was indeed as pretty as a little doll and danced a technically complex solo in the second act. Dr Coppelius tries to entice Franz who is an impressionable village boy to fall in love with Coppelia, however Franz has already professed his love to a girl from the village – Swanilda. There is jealousy (on Swanilda’s part) and much cunning on the part of Dr Coppelius, but true love wins through.

Kirill Bulychev is a handsome and energetic Franz, his lines were perfect and his technical ability was incredible. Elena Pogorelaya was a beautiful and indeed mischievous Swanilda, telling the story with her eyes as much as her seamless dancing. A well matched pair who rose the roof in act two with their pas de deux.

The company as a whole were delightful to watch with many notable performances throughout and Anastasia Koreshnikova especially entertained as the Town Celebrity. The 25-piece orchestra were extraordinary and conducted enthusiastically by Alexander Yudasin, the music accompanied the splendour on stage rather than dominated it.

The scenery was quite ornate and the costumes were bright, colourful and lent themselves to the light comedy air of this particular ballet.

For more tour dates and to book tickets please see http://www.raymondgubbay.co.uk. The final performance at Wolverhampton was of Swan Lake last night.

First published 22.02.13

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