Anne Hailes reviews: Coppelia by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia

Russian State Ballet of Siberia
Grand Opera House Belfast
Saturday 24th January 2015

This young company is in the middle of a tour which takes them round the UK as they present four ballets, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Fille mal gardee and Coppelia.

I was lucky enough to see Coppelia on Tuesday evening and it was a joy to behold. A young company full of enthusiasm with high professional values. One thing that struck me was the connection they had with the audience, they smiled at us, seemed pleased with our reaction but then we knew it was going to be a special evening when the conductor Anatoliy Chepurnoy waved his baton in greeting and jumped up from his rostrum to get a better view of the packed house!

I reckon the dance values the company put into Coppelia will be common to all their ballets, each will have it’s own interpretation and each will bring a new fresh approach. It’s a big company, I counted 28 on stage at one time and my only comment would be it got a bit crowded at times, however, that was opening night and how difficult it must be for a company constantly on the move from one stage to the next. Unfortunately Coppelia was only on for one night but it gave a taste for going along to another one or two and an idea of the ethos of the company. This is classical ballet with all the pointe work and tutus you’d expect, strong young men and lithe beautiful girls who move like thistledown in the arms of their masculine partners.


The set for Coppelia was simple and the costume colours mixed and blended, blue, lemon and lime, tangerine in places and strong jewel tones when the villagers perform a folk dance, indeed there are many themes in the choreography set to the music of Leo Delibes. This is a delicate ballet, it’s funny and it’s an example of a youthful company with high standards bound to be reflected in their other shows.

Tonight (Wednesday) the company dance La Fille mal gardee, tomorrow (Thursday) Swan Lake and on Friday and Saturday The Nutcracker. Throughly recommended.

Review by Anne Hailes

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Post Author: Belfast Times

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