I can’t think of a place I love going to more than a Pittsburgh Ballet Theater performance at the Benedum. My Aunt Patti was a dancer too and we’ve been going to see quite a few ballets together lately. So when we heard Coppélia was coming we couldn’t resist a little night out with her and my cousins (Mum is holding out to see Giselle next season, which is actually going to be a first for me!). The show was absolutely delightful – Dr. Coppelius’ daughter is a life-sized automaton, which Franz falls in love with! His betrothed, Swanhilde, dresses up as the doll after being caught in Dr. Coppelius’ workshop, and acts the part to save Franz. And then Act III comes around and everyone’s happy and dance lovely solos and pas de deux in celebration (I find this hilarious about ballets, like the Nutcracker, where, however gorgeous, the entire second half is just a dancing celebration!)
It’s strange not seeing some of my favorites on stage – some have retired, while some of the recent favorites I’ve come to look forward to have moved on, and quite suddenly. Flipping through the pamphlet there were still some faces I’ve recognized and enjoyed over the years, but some of the most exciting new dancers seemed to have, well, vanished.
That’s not to say the show wasn’t enjoyable (I just like watching for my favorites on stage!). Christopher Budzynski is always delightful and completely impressive in his technique, and his wife Alexandra Kochis, as well as one of her (Swanhilde’s) maids, had me howling with laughter. I’m not used to seeing classical ballets that aren’t quite so tragic, and the room to have fun and be entertaining with the pantomime in Coppélia was well taken advantage of.
And I still stand firm on my love for shows with the orchestra.
Have you been to see any ballets or shows lately?
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