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Delibes Coppelia Kirov

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The Kirov Ballet - Delibes Coppelia Kirov Vinogradov Tarasova - Dance Performance DVD - Coppelia is a classical ballet in the true sense, and with its touch of East European folklore, continues to enjoy worldwide popularity. It combines the romance between Swanilda and Franz with the story of the doll-maker Coppelius, whose greatest desire is to create a doll with a soul. This is an outstanding production of one of the most beloved ballets in the classic repertory. Fortunately, there are several very rewarding DVDs of Coppelia, including the 1993 version by the Australian Ballet, but the 1993 Kirov rendition does an exceptional job of capturing the spirit of the story and portraying the characters. It is beautifully choreographed, staged, and photographed, including some charming close-ups and overhead views from the vantage point of the mechanical doll, Coppelia. The famous Russian choreographer and set designer, Oleg Vinogradov, never wanders far from the story and charms the viewer with some clever surprises. He carefully integrates the corps de ballet by having it reflect, at times, the movements of the principal dancers. Unlike other versions of this ballet, the Kirov production includes an extensive and humorous dance scene, in Act I, with the mechanical doll in the town square. Franz and his friends are attracted but bewildered by its mechanical responses as they try to help it unwind. The character of Swanilda is charmingly portrayed by Irina Shapchits in both her expressive dancing and facial expressions. She shows remarkable balance and flexibility in her solo routines and duets with Franz. Act II provides a lively and inventive display of Dr. Coppelius' mechanical toys, including the amazing gymnastics of the Nutcracker. On a humorous note, Swanilda, posing as the doll, kicks and slaps Franz for being unfaithful to her. The town square scene demonstrates why the Kirov is probably the world's premiere corps de ballet. Its stunning and versatile performance reminds one of a corps of gold medalists.

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