Ballet Philippines launched its 54th season with a full-length production of the classic comic ballet COPPELIA. Patrons and ballet enthusiasts gathered on a Friday night at the Theatre at Solaire wearing their “Dolled Up” outfits—a fitting theme for a ballet about dancing dolls. The lobby of the The Theatre at Solaire was full to the brim. Apart from the well-heeled set, next generation ballerinas and theatre audiences also made up the lively crowd during that night’s festivities.
In her opening remarks, Liechtenstein introduced the season’s theme, The Power of Dance. She explained that for the 54th season, Ballet Philippine will showcase the technique, style, and character of the country’s premiere dance company through various performances and creative collaborations. That night, the company shone the light on incredible technique that brought tales as old as time to life.
“[Ballet Philippines] presented this classic ballet piece 15 years ago,” Liechtenstein shared. “And now we meet with COPPELIA again, this time [she is] bolder, funnier, and sassier. Tonight is about the hard work and skill our core dancers have developed through rigid training and discipline—a testament to the distinct power, style, and technique of Ballet Philippines.”
COPPELIA, which was choreographed by BP Artistic Director Mikhail Martynyuk, was a light, bright, and uplifting show that left a strong impact as the company ushered in a new season. The timeless piece holds a special place in Martynyuk’s heart, having played the role of Franz for his first professional performance. He performed the same role more than 20 times around Europe after that milestone debut. “I know every step and note from start to finish,” Martynuk muses.
During the intermission, the audience spoke about the show being a light-hearted, feel-good ballet for the entire family to enjoy. The second act was met with even more enthusiasm. The powerful performance, fueled by unparalleled technical prowess reaped applause, awe and multiple curtain calls.
After the show, Ballet Philippines’ dancers were invited to the theater lobby for the traditional meet-and-greet. It was an added treat for both the young and young-at-heart. One gala attendee even yelled: “Let’s give the great dancers of Ballet Philippines one more round of applause!”
CLASSIC COPPELIA AND ITS RELEVANT THEMES
COPPELIA follows Dr. Coppélius, an inventor who created a beautiful life-sized, mechanical doll named Coppelia. Audiences were also introduced to a pair of young lovers, Swanhilda and Franz. Their plans to marry were thwarted when Coppelia captured Franz’s attention. To win her one true love back, Swanhilda pretends to be a doll.
At the very heart of Ballet Philippines’ COPPELIA are relevant themes on mental health, self love and acceptance. It also touches companionship in a time of technological advancement. COPPELIA compels us to ask: can technology take the place of true, authentic human connection? Liechtenstein adds, “COPPELIA is a radiant ballet exuding everything about positivity and love. Love that reminds us to look beyond surface beauty and embrace our perfect imperfections.”
Originally written by Charles-Louis Etienne Nuttier and set to the music of Léo Delibes, COPPELIA was interpreted for the Ballet Philippines stage by Artistic Director Misha Martynyuk. For the gala performance, the choreographer cast BP core dancers Jemima Reyes in the leading role of Swanhilda, Rudolph Capongcol as Franz, Idelle Buhia as Coppelia, and Peter San Juan as Dr. Coppélius.
BALLET PHILIPPINES will be back on stage from December 15-17, 2023 with Christmas Fairytales. Featuring beloved dances from Snow White, Alibaba and 40 Thieves, Snow White, Cinderella, among many others, this brilliant show will bring all your favorite bedtime stories to the stage.