Arts and Entertainment

International Ballet Theatre presents Coppelia

The International Ballet Theatre (IBT), under the direction of Kirov Ballet master teacher and award winning choreographer, Vera Altunina, will present the classical, comedy ballet, Coppelia, at Meydenbauer Theater May 15-17, 2009. Northwest audiences will have a rare opportunity to see world- renowned dancers Dmitry Zavalishin and Maria Makarenko the Kirov Ballet in St.Petersburg, Russia in the leading roles for this exclusive engagement .

“It is difficult to imagine the world of ballet without Coppelia. With all its mischief, humor, elegance, and robust national flavor, Coppelia is one of the most enjoyed ballets of modern times”, said Vera Altunina. “It’s the perfect special event for the entire family, and just in time for Mother’s Day!” Coppelia was first performed at the Paris Opera in 1870, and has since retained its tremendous popularity as a fanciful treat for all ages.

Coppelia, “The Girl with Enamel Eyes”, is a mime-ballet, originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Leon with music by Leo Delibes. It is a humorous, yet moving story about love – seen through the eyes of a young, engaged couple and the heart of a lonely toy maker who dreams of making a doll with a soul. The playful story takes place in the storybook village of Olympia, Poland where a clever young girl (Swanilda), is surprised to discover her fiancé (Franz) flirting with a beautiful “girl” on a balcony. Swanilda’s jealousy grows until she discovers that the girl is really a lovely, life-sized doll created by Dr. Coppelius. Swanilda conjures a mischievous plan to teach Franz a lesson that ultimately leads to their touching reconciliation.

This classic love story offers wonder and humor for all ages. Younger audiences will be mesmerized by the beautiful costumes created for IBT by the Lvov Opera and Ballet Theatre in the Ukraine, the same designers who’s work is see on stage at the Royal Opera and Ballet in London, the Kirov in St Petersburg and the silly antics of the life-sized doll dancers. More mature audiences will be amused by the irony of the love story, the technical ability of the dancers, including guest soloists from the Kirov Ballet in St.Petersburg and the artistry reflecting diverse cultures and traditions from around the world. It is easy to understand why Coppelia has long been among the world’s most loved ballets.

Tickets for Coppelia are available by calling 1-800-838-3006 or via Tickets are $25 for children, $40 for seniors and students, and $50 for adults. Performances open at Meydenbauer Theater in Bellevue: 7 p.m. May 15; 2 p.m. and 7:30 May 16 and 2 p.m. May 17.

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