Courtesy: Irving Arts Center

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The Ballet Ensemble of Texas proudly presents George Skibine’s 3-Act ballet Coppelia at the Irving Arts Center on Friday March 25th and Saturday March 26th, both at 7:30 pm.

George Skibine was a former Director of the Paris Opera Ballet from 1957 – 1961 and had an illustrious career dancing with the most famous companies of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s; most notably American Ballet Theater, Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. He was also the Director of the Harkness Ballet and the Dallas Ballet that he formed with his wife Marjorie Tallchief. Thom Clower who trained and danced professionally under Skibine’s direction and guidance has meticulously staged this production.

Coppelia is an enchanting ballet ideal for the entire family. Acts I and III display the purity of Skibine’s exacting standards of classical ballet tradition in addition to the authentic character dances of the Villagers in the “Mazurka” and “Czardas”. The choreography is sublime and the dancing is superb in both quality and stylistic diversity. Of course there is the whimsical story line which centers around the on and off relationship between the two main characters Franz and Swanilda. Coppelia who is the doll created by the mysterious Dr. Coppelius is the source of their problem because Swanilda thinks Franz is in love with her. The issue is that the two young sweethearts do not realize that Coppelia is just a doll. Swanilda is in love with Franz but is furious that Franz may be in love with “Coppelia” and the relationship comes to a screeching halt. That is, until Swanilda and her Friends sneak into Dr. Coppelius’ house and find a workshop full of magical toys and specifically Coppelia which they finally realize is a doll. All of this mischief occurs in a heartfelt but humorous Act II.
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