Monday, March 28, 2011

Festival Ballet Theatre's "Coppelia"

Hopefully by now people know that they don't have to wait for annual "Nutcracker" performances for the kind of delightful storybook ballet suitable for all ages. Festival Ballet Theatre reminded OC audiences at the Irvine Barclay Theatre last weekend of that fact with a production of "Coppelia" that featured two stars of the New York City Ballet, FBT professional company members, and even some of the littlest students in FBT's Southland Ballet Academy.

There is plenty of familiar music in the Leon Delibes score that carries the tale from E.T.A. Hoffmann about two young lovers whose romance is temporarily derailed by the attraction of a "new girl in town" who turns out not to be real, but a doll. It's sort of a cross between "Nutcracker" and "Pygmalion," but the sweet silliness of the plot is mostly just a vehicle for some lovely dance, and Megan Fairchild and Andrew Veyette, the guest stars, were captivating, in choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon staged by FBT Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla.

It marked the end of the current FBT season except for their May 6 Gala of the Stars, which will featured guest artists from American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet, also at The Barclay.

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