Andalusia Ballet to present Coppélia at Dixon Center this Friday and Saturday
Published 9:15 am Monday, April 24, 2023
Andalusia Ballet will present Coppélia on Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. at the LBWCC Dixon Center for the Performing Arts.
Considered to be ballet’s greatest comedy, Coppélia tells the tale of a mad inventor and the life-like doll he creates. A village, Franz, becomes infatuated with the doll, which causes his girlfriend Swanhilda to be jealous. She then dresses as the doll and makes it come to life to win over Franz.
“This is the third time we have presented the ballet. I have been wanting to do this for several years now. To me, it is a perfect fit for our senior company dancers and especially for Emily Anne Morgan who dances the role of Swanhilda with José Soares, our Ballet Master. We have a really awesome dancer, Frederic Rocas of Alabama Ballet coming in to perform as Dr. C. His acting is fabulous,” Andalusia Ballet Artistic Director Meryane Murphy said.
“This one will be fun because I really like character dancing. I have a lot of fun because I’m like a normal guy rather than a prince or king. It’s really close to reality,” José said.
“I believe this ballet showcases my personality a lot. I get to tease José quite a bit. There is a lot of acting involved in the ballet itself, and the choreography is so intricate it makes the whole process of putting it together mesmerizing,” Emily Anne said.
Murphy said with the production of Coppélia, the cast would be able to relate to others. “They are not just on the stage making poses and moving as a group. They actually look at each other and get a response. It is a really fun ballet to do.”
One of my favorite moments in the show is when we have this large friends’ dance. We get to interact with one another on the stage and showcase all of our personalities, and my hope is that it draws the audience in to see us performing together,” Emily Anne said.
There is a lot of preparation that goes into a production like Coppélia.
“You have to make sure you have the right timing. We work so hard on the timing and how we do our steps,” José said. “It is important that our dancers execute the choreography correctly,” Murphy agreed.
Emily Anne added, “While preparing is challenging, I love performing, and getting to perform for our community is always a joy!”
The cast consists of 60-70 individuals with professional level dancers joining Andalusia Ballet’s company-level dancers. The cast includes five professional dancers from Alabama Ballet who will be performing alongside the Ballet’s local dancers.
“It lifts us when we bring in people like this. Our dancers at Andalusia Ballet definitely enjoy seeing the professionals we bring in, and it motivates them to know they can be there one day. It helps you dance to a new level. I really feel like everybody is part of the show together,” Murphy said.
“Additionally, we are very excited to have our mayor and his wife, the Honorable Earl and Sylvia Johnson performing the roles of the Lord and Lady of the Manor, Father Eric Mancil appearing as the priest and Robert Foreman reprising his role of Father Time,” Murphy continued.
“Coppélia will be a performance sure to delight audience members of all ages. We hope that our community will join us for this funny and entertaining ballet,” Murphy said.
All seating is reserved and tickets can be purchased at andalusiaballet.com and lbwcc.edu. Tickets will be sold at the door 30 minutes prior to each performance.
This year, which marks the 40th anniversary season of Andalusia Ballet, began with The Nutcracker in December. Valentine Dances were held prior to Coppélia in February. Andalusia Ballet will have its Spring Showcase in May and Summer Dances in June.