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Coppélia (BRB - Salford)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Birmingham Royal Ballet always prove to be a popular draw for dance fans at the Lowry, and it's not difficult to see why - as their current production of the classic, Coppélia is a stunning piece of work.

Léo Delibes's original piece has some of the most memorable pices of music and it still resonates with audiences today, as the second you hear this beautiful lavish score, you are transported to this weird and wonderful world, filled with humour and an underlying sense of sadness.

From the sumptuous set design to the immaculately designed costumes, each minute detail has been covered and the effect is mesmerising.

The movement is so varied that each of the three acts becomes a ballet in its own right. From the chocolate box approach of the first act - to the showcasing of each dancer during the close, each performer creates a character which, like Coppélia herself - magically comes to life - via the power of music.

Dr Coppélius (Michael O'Hare) believes that his doll - the title character - has come to life. This scene is incredibly funny due to the light movement and Delibes's beautiful musical interludes. It is also very moving, as Swanilda (Nao Sakuma) and Franz (Cesar Morales) create this fantasy so that they can be together and so that the old man can also rejoice.

Sakuma and Morales are an incredibly poised and professional partnership who never put a foot wrong. Sakuma brings comedy, beauty and elegance to the role and Morales almost nods and winks to the audience, as his character fools many around him. The dancing here is superb and many of the best sections involve groups - superbly synchronised - which highlights the high standard of ballet amongst this entire troupe - yet, they make it look effortless.

Peter Wright's choreography ensures that each performer has the chance to shine and it is truly sublime. Peter Farmer's dazzling designs create depth, space and a sense of wonder. Conductor, Koen Kessels leads the dancers and the audience through the captivating score and the musicians provide narrative thrust with their virtuoso playing.

BRB's captivating Coppélia is accessible and memorable and filled with jaw dropping movement throughout. You will laugh, you will cry and you will believe.


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