Ren­di­tion of clas­sic bal­let was pure feel-good, ro­man­tic fun

Gloucestershire Echo - - REVIEWS -

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.

Annabel Brit­tain

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