By KAREN LUNDE
Coppelia arrives at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts April 18 through 20, bringing a tale of mayhem, mischief and mistaken identities. Studio West Dance Theatre’s production follows the antics of Swanhilda and her friends as they try to discover the identity of Coppelia, a mysterious woman who’s enthralled Swanhilda’s fiancé, Franz.
“Coppelia is the iconic romantic comedy,” said Stephanie Wood-Ennett, co-director of Studio West. “It’s gratifying for us to present a ballet with such a rich history in the ballet world.”
Wood-Ennett explained Coppelia is not only a love story between Swanhilda and Franz but a tale about the camaraderie between Swanhilda and her friends, who try to learn more about Swanhilda’s potential rival, the beautiful girl spotted reading on the eccentric Dr. Coppelius’ balcony. It’s also the story of Dr. Coppelius himself and his longing for companionship.
“[It’s about] our own mischievous natures and the curiosities that sometimes get us into questionable situations,” said Wood-Ennett. “It’s the perfect ballet for our dancers to showcase their strong dance technique, artistry and acting abilities.”
This performance is a farewell to two Studio West dancers, Naomi de Jesus and Cole McMason, who are setting off on their professional paths. Both dancers began their ballet training with Studio West over 10 years ago.
This summer, de Jesus will attend the Joffrey Ballet summer program in Chicago before entering the Joffrey Conservatory Program in the fall. She’s danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.
McMason departs to begin his training on a merit scholarship with the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle this summer, a program he chose over other scholarship offers from such prestigious programs as the San Francisco Ballet School. Both dancers expressed gratitude to Studio West’s program for enabling them to perfect their art.
Renowned ballet choreographer George Balanchine once said, “Just as Giselle is ballet’s great tragedy, so Coppelia is its great comedy.” Enjoy the antics and artistry of Studio West’s production at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts Easter weekend.
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia
7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 18 and 19;
1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20