Niagara Gazette

August 14, 2013

Greater Niagara Ballet Co. brings 'Coppélia' to Artpark

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — The comedic ballet “Coppélia,” featuring international ballet artists, will be brought to Artpark for two performances Saturday by the Greater Niagara Ballet Company.  

“Coppélia,” with its roots tracing back to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 19th century “Der Sandmann,” has been described as a story of mistaken identity between a man and a beautiful mechanical doll.”

In the story, Coppélia sits on her balcony all day reading and speaking to no one. A boy named Franz falls in love with Coppélia and wants to marry her – even though he is already engaged. His fiancé, Swanilda, sees Franz throwing kisses at Coppélia, but she soon learns that Coppélia is actually a doll that belongs to a mad scientist. 

Swanilda impersonates the doll in order to win back Franz. Chaos ensues, but soon all is forgiven. Swanilda and Franz get married, and several festive dances celebrate the occasion.

The debut of “Coppélia” at Artpark marks the return of ballet to the Lewiston venue after a decade-long absence.

Tickets for “Coppélia” are priced at $25 to $40 for adults and $15 for children under 12. There will be performances at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets are available at the Artpark box office and through www.tickets.com. Those purchasing 10 tickets will receive 10 percent off their total order.

“Coppélia” is presented by the Greater Niagara Ballet Company in conjunction with KeyBank and The National Ballet Institute through a grant from The Oliver G. & Sarah Sloan Bauman Fund for the Arts.

Under the direction of Beverley Feder, the not-for-profit company continues to provide local dancers with the unique opportunity of developing their talents in a professional theatrical setting while working with trained dancers from all parts of the world.

The lead guest artist in Saturday's performances is Georgi Rusafov, a graduate of the National Dance High School in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied under Peter Koldamov.   

Rusafov, who has performed all over the world, is a master class ballet teacher. Currently, he is artistic director of Youth American Ballet Company. 

Natalia Velarde, starring as Swanilda, was born and trained in Bolivia. She dances in the U.S. at the National Ballet in Maryland and is currently a member of Deep Vision Dance Company – a thriving modern dance company in Baltimore. 

Tickets for “Coppélia” are priced at $25 to $40 for adults and $15 for children under 12. There will be performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets are available at the Artpark box office and through www.tickets.com. Those purchasing 10 tickets will receive 10 percent off their total order.

“Coppélia” is presented by the Greater Niagara Ballet Company in conjunction with KeyBank and The National Ballet Institute through a grant from The Oliver G. & Sarah Sloan Bauman Fund for the Arts.

Under the direction of Beverley Feder, the not-for-profit company continues to provide local dancers with the unique opportunity of developing their talents in a professional theatrical setting while working with trained dancers from all parts of the world.