Be whisked away to a toymaker's workshop as Dance Theatre of Tennessee presents the comedic storybook ballet “Coppelia, The Girl with the Enamel Eyes” May 5 and 6 at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre.
Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. A special performance for schools also is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, May 4.
For additional enjoyment, children are encouraged to bring their favorite dolls to the Sunday matinee for a 1:30 p.m. doll parade. Ticketholders for both the Saturday and Sunday performances can register to win an “American Girl” doll, complete with ballerina attire.
"’Coppelia’ offers an absolute delight to ballet newcomers and families as well as Dance Theatre of Tennessee's most seasoned patrons," says Christopher Mohnani, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Tennessee. "The dancing is of course lovely, while the characterization and comic timing of this classic will keep audiences enchanted the entire time."
Presented in three acts, Coppelia is a comedic ballet based on “Der Sandmann,” a book by E.T.A. Hoffman, the author of “The Nutcracker.” The story involves a mysterious toy-maker, Dr. Coppelius, who shares his house with the beautiful life-size doll, Coppelia, he created to keep himself company in his workshop.
Coppelia is seated every day on the front balcony of the workshop with a book, and the toymaker’s neighbor, Swanhilda, and her fiance, Franz, believe the doll is real. Franz falls in love with Coppelia, and the comedy of errors begins as the pair sneak into the workshop, separately, to meet her.
Dance Theatre of Tennessee regularly presents classical ballets that might be unfamiliar to the community, like “Coppelia,” to “encourage appreciation of the art form and hopefully develop a wider and more appreciative audience for dance and ballet in general,” Mohnani says.
The performance also will honor the late Robert Flavel “Lee” Green, a longtime ballet supporter and a driving force in Nashville and middle Tennessee theater from the 1970s to the 1990s. “Coppelia” was one of his favorite ballets, and Dance Theatre of Tennessee will be accepting memorial contributions with a notation made for the "Lee Green Tribute."
Advance and online tickets for “Coppelia” are $20 for adults and $15 for children and are available at www.mtsu.edu/tuckertheatre
or by calling 615-391-5500. Tickets also will be available at the door before each performance and will cost $25 for adults and $20 for children.