Review: Coppélia at the Bristol Hippodrome 'is a treat for the eyes'

PUBLISHED: 12:30 29 June 2017

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppelia

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda in Coppelia

Coppélia: Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda; photo: Roy Smiljanic

The spectacular Birmingham Royal Ballet did not put a foot wrong as Coppélia opened at the Bristol Hippodrome yesterday (Wednesday).

Maureya Lebowitz as Swanilda and Joseph Caley as Franz in Coppelia. Picture: Roy SmiljanicMaureya Lebowitz as Swanilda and Joseph Caley as Franz in Coppelia. Picture: Roy Smiljanic

Coppélia is a comical production perfect for first time ballet-goers and the company did not disappoint in this fairytale-like show.

The ballet follows the centuries-old story of the magical Dr Coppélius who has created a life-size dancing doll.

It is so lifelike that Franz (played by Tyrone Singleton) becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his true love Swanhilda (played by Céline Gitten) to dote on the darling doll.

Fuelled by jealousy, the scorned lover dresses up as the doll Coppélia and pretends to bring her to life – much to the doctor’s surprise.

Coppelia will be at the Bristol Hippodrome later this month. Picture: Andy RossCoppelia will be at the Bristol Hippodrome later this month. Picture: Andy Ross

The show first came to prominence in 1870 in France and has now been recreated all over the world.

From the dancers to the music, it was a treat for the eyes and I could not tear myself away from the fantastic show in front of me.

It started off with a bang from the first beat of the drum and pluck of the violin as the live orchestra took the audience through a journey of its own.

The music was simply phenomenal and really took the whole show to a whole new level.

Coppelia will be at the Bristol Hippodrome later this month. Picture: Andy RossCoppelia will be at the Bristol Hippodrome later this month. Picture: Andy Ross

With the music already blaring, the curtain lifted and the audience is immediately transported to the 18th century Poland, where the ballet is set, with its incredibly detailed backdrop.

Everything from the scenery to the costumes were divine and simply left me in awe.

But a ballet would not be complete with the company and the Birmingham Royal Ballet were incredible.

Principal dancers Singleton and Gitten performed a number of beautiful pas de deux and solos and seemed perfectly in sync with one another.

The pair were supported by a brilliant company which created a fantastic ambience.

From start to finish, I found myself wanting to get up and dance along with these extremely talented dancers, which also kept the audience laughing with their expressions and funny gestures.

Ballets can be difficult to grasp, as without the help of words or songs to explain the story it is easy to get lost or confused, but the dancers made it effortless with smart motions and brilliant artistry.

It is divided into three acts, I would strongly recommend this production for any first time ballet enthusiasts, as well as the seasoned connoisseur, as you will be hard pushed to find someone not leaving the theatre without a smile on their face.

Coppélia will be at the Bristol Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade, at 7.30pm from now until Saturday.

There will also be a 2pm matinee today (Thursday) and at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Tickets, priced £16.40-47.40, are available from 08009 126974 or online at the Hippodrome’s website.

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