Rendition of classic ballet was pure feel-good, romantic fun
CHARMING choreography, quality dancing and a gorgeously golden sunlit set combined with Delibes’s delicious score to breathe new life into one of our best-loved ballets at The Roses.
Vienna Festival Ballet delighted Saturday’s audience with Coppelia, the classic about the fiance whose flirting ruffles Swanhilda’s feathers until it emerges he’s fallen for a doll.
The London-based company has been going up and up since it was founded almost 40 years ago and this piece is a star of its repertoire. Jaume Ruiz was strong, precise and appealing as Franz, effortlessly impressing with his beats and tours. Valentina Leali quickly warmed up as his piqued partner. Ebony-haired and porcelain pretty, her vivaciousness was infectious, her soft lines charming and her face sweetly expressive, especially during the light-hearted and allegro sections.
Most of the corps were strong and provided many highlights, from the toy-shop scene to the toetapping mazurka in citrus-fresh costumes and the delightful farm workers’ episode. Dr Coppelius, who caused all the trouble by positioning his prize creation in his window for all to admire, was comically geeky in William Brooke’s portrayal, to which the audience responded affectionately.
Let’s face it, a story of a man who falls for a doll and whose girl injects new life into their relationship by impersonating that doll, is somewhat sinister. But this pastelpretty rendition of the sublimely choreographed classic was pure feel-good, romantic fun.