Moscow Festival Ballet's Coppélia

Jan 15, 2010

Are you still dizzy from all the antics of devilish Doctor Coppelius and the humorous chaos ensued by his life-size creation Coppélia? What did you think of the rarely-seen in Minneapolis/St Paul storybook ballet? Those of you classic ballet lovers - how did the Moscow Festival Ballet measure up?

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The two leads were phenomenal! The rest paled in comparison, except, of course, for Doctor Coppelius.

I agree, the two leads were fantastic and the rest adequate. Hope renovation of Northrop brings a better sound system. Most suprising however was the absence of ANY mention of Delibes as composer of one of the most magnificent ballet scores on the program!

Absolutely fantastic show! I loveRussian classical ballet and this one was amazing! Originally I am from Russia and I was lucky to see many classical ballet show in the past. During Coppelia show I had a feeling that I was in Russia. Very professional and breath taking. Bravo!

Gorgeous performance! Loved the costumes, set - very charming. The female lead was exquisite and showed excellent technique, as well as acting skill. She really was a joy to watch! Thanks for bringing the traditional companies to Minneapolis!!!!

It was a wonderful performance and I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved seeing just a traditional ballet performance, the music, the lovely dancing, the colors and costumes. The lead dancers were very good and I enjoyed many of the other dancers' performances as well.

I have a friend who particularly likes traditional ballet and this program is one of the few choices for that. We loved the performance and atmosphere and the opportunity for a leisurely dinner before it started.

We loved the performance, from the delightful costuming to the traditional ballet. I brought my daughter whoalso thought it was quite delightful, and we were both surprised how quickly the time passed. One issue we have noted oer the years, however, which is becoming increasingly annoying to us, is the stopping of the performance after each individual piece for the dancer(s) to receive applause. During this performance at least a couple of times, the dancers came to the front stage and bowed for applause even tho it was not the end of a scene or act. It seems they are being broken into little vignettes which distract from the company and performance as a whole.


Lovely ballet! Female lead was fantastic. So expressive! I found it odd though that the story in the program was not how the ballet was presented. The program should have also included who choregraphed the ballet because I am guessing it is a newer version given the "theatrical-ness" of it. Which I enjoyed. I laughed a lot at the comic parts. Also, ballet dancers should have had bios in the program. Thank you for bringing this here!

Yes, I agree with the other comments, and enough already with the applause, but the ballet was wonderful and we very much enjoyed it. I especially want to thank the ushers. One in particular, whose name tag said "usher," was very helpful in accommodating me and my 90-year-old father who uses a wheel chair. I don't know his name, so I can't personally thank him, but I hope he gets this message. Northrup has been very helpful in the past with assisting my aging parents. Thanks to all who helped.

What a dazzling performance. The leads were fantastic and the rest of the corps were also wonderful. The costumes were eye-popping. What a lovely evening.

Four of us attended the performance. We were all disappointed because the performance lacked energy. Technically the performers were adequate, but certainly not phenomenal. Compared to some companies I thought some of the dancers lacked back flexibility. We were disappointed that the program did not name the composer, choreographer and other information about the ballet. I personally have seen many versions of this ballet over a long period and like the Frederick Ashton version best. The costumes were beautiful, but I rate the dancing inferior to our ABT and NYCB. Perhaps the company should not rely upon performing just one ballet on a long tour.

I thought the choreography was somewhat limited. There was too much mime and too little dancing. However, my main concern - after years and years of attending dance performances - is the quality of the sound system. I find that once the musicians start playing loud and fast and high pitched (especially violins), the cacophony is so distracting I cannot enjoy the dancing. Is there any way that the system could be upgraded without waiting for the proposed rehab of the whole place?

I was a bit disappointed in the performance last night and totally dislike "canned" music. The prima ballerina was wonderful but the rest of the company/core lacked energy and perfection. And the classic Russian custumes were not exciting as I have seen in this ballet in the past by other companies. However, I'm glad I went and appreciate what Northrup is doing.

I have to disagree with your statement about "the rest of the company/core lacked energy and perfection". I have a feeling that you do not have enough knowledge about Russian ballet school. As for "classic Russian custumes " (by the way the correct spelling is costume). These costumes were not classic Russian at all because Coppelia act takes place not in Russia. It is always easy to criticize.

I loved every minute of the entire evening starting with those amazing bistro boxes. Our only complaint is THERE IS TOO MUCH FOOD. How about 1/2 a bistro box or just a sandwich and something to drink. It's the healthiest meal I've ever had, but there is enough food for two people. The ballet was amazing. I've seen MFB perform in Wisconsin in May, and they are wonderful. I can't wait until their next visit to the area. It was easy to get to the parking ramp and walk back from Northrup. You need more shuttle buses, but the weather was agreeable enough to walk.

We loved the Moscow Festival Ballet! This was our first event at Northrop Auditorium. It is a fine space but needs a facelift. The row numbers have rubbed off and the restrooms take patrons past old, unused lockers. Not a great impression/

The performance was stunning. The lead dancers on Thursday night's performance were wonderful. I never knew Swanhilde's role was so huge. I wondered why there wasn't more information on the composer (Delibes)and choreographer (Marius Petipa) in the program. It's interesting to know that the ballet we are watching is essentially what audiences saw 120 years ago. I would also like to have seen bios of the dancers in the program, like who was the redhead in the coral pink costume? The dancers were all amazing - the classical Russian training shows. The costumes were beautiful. I particularly enjoyed Act 3 with the wonderful performances. Hats off to these amazing athletes/dancers from the Moscow Festival Ballet!

This was our first live ballet (and we're 54 and 29!) -- we were delighted! The musical score was beautiful but it would have been extra-special had it been live. The lead dancers were breathtaking, particularly the men. How do they have so much energy?? The set was lovely and we think Northrop is a fine old building--the somewhat tattered condition gives it a bit of character ( however the duct tape used to repair some seats was a bit tacky.) My only real complaint was that I noticed one female in the Corps who was frequently wobbly and not in sync with the other dancers and of the four men who often danced together, only one made it around to the front when they did a jump spin. All in all though, it was fun for our first experience and I hope other classical troupes will come here as well.

An outstanding performance. The three of us were impressed by the high quality of all of the dancers, but particualrly the leads. We enjoyed a humerous and beautiful perfomance. Excellent artistic value for the money! None of us are ballet experts, but this was a great group to watch perfom.

We too really enjoyed the evening. For the people commenting on the tackiness of Northrop, that, hopefully will be taken care of soon as the U of M has a huge remodeling plan for Northrop to bring it up to what should be the diamond of the campus. Here is hoping the bad economy won't affect that project.

I found it generally good. It was entertaining. Yet, I was looking for more ballet content, which improved toward the end.

Wonderful show, amazing performance and we enjoyed it very much. We are looking forward for Northrop organizers to bring more shows like that in the future.

The performance was outsanding, Great professional dancers. Two points I like to address: 1- There was no mention of the Composer Delibes any where in the program. That is a must. Also no reference on the program about the orchestra that was recorded on the CD that they used, to acknowledge their interpretation. That is another deficiency. 2- The Bar service is one of the worst I have seen. There were just two people serving during the intermission and there were hundreds guests waiting. They should have at leats 4 or 6 servers in a much larger bar counter on every floor. It is terrible the way you have it.

This was the most outstanding ballet show I've ever seen. The dancers were all excellent.

I was excited to see Coppelia since it's been some time since I've seen it live and don't recall seeing it at Northrop ever. The Friday female lead was very good technically and brought nice artistry to the part. I was disappointed with the Mazurka, the choreography lacked true character dancing and was more balletic in technique. I remember the dolls coming to life in ACT II but when it ended I realized the original Cecchetti choreography must have been refined. We've been long-time subscribers to the Northrop but as my husband again mentioned to me, if the renovations are delayed again this year, he would be hard pressed to subscribe again. The chairs are so uncomfortable, tight and in our case broken, the sound system so sub par for this grand jewel. It makes in almost impossible to enjoy any performance. Ben is doing some great things overall and hope the renovations will happen this year. I would also love to see dancer's bios in the programs more as well as orchestra information.

The principal dancers were good but the company as a whole did not measure up to what I expect and have seen before from Russian ballet. The corps lacked precision in many ways. They did not execute their moves together. Sometimes I felt that some were not dancing to the music while others were not. Landings from jumps were loud and sometimes uneasy. The hand and leg positions were different from dancer to dancer. Some had broken wrists others curved wrists. I don't care which way they hold their wrists but it should all be the same. Legs were raised to different heights and released at different times. Finally one dancer fell off her point and couldn't get back up. I have attended many ballet performances and have never seen this before. It is really unacceptable in a professional company. The evening was fun, the costumes were pretty but some of the dancing did not measure up.

I agree with an earlier comment that the Friday female lead was very good technically and brought nice artistry to the part. I felt that she was a better 'actor' than most and her dancing was solid. My wife mentioned the great energy of the male dancers but felt that Act 3 was added to fill out the time and added little to the story.

I love Northrop and I have been a subscriber to the dance series for many years. I too would love to see the renovation completed, however, in such economic times as these, it may not occur as quickly as we had hoped. However, that will not deter me from continuing to enjoy performances. I come to be entertained, and that is exactly what I got from the performance of Coppelia. I don't know about the technical aspects of the dance/dancers or the music, whether they were exceptional or poor. All I know is, I enjoyed myself for a couple of hours and I'm thrilled that we are able to see so much culture at Northrop. I hope we can continue to enjoy such beauty.

The ballet, Coppelia, was entertaining, but not great. In my opinion, I would give the ballet company a "B' grade. One thing I really miss is a live orchestra. When did you discontinue this at the Northrup? The ballet is as much about the great composers and their music as it is about the dance. The scratchy inferior quality of the music distracted from the overall quality of the performance.

I enjoyed the performance. It is wonderful to see dancers with that level of skill perform. Also, I felt that the dancer playing Dr. Cappelius had quite a bit of personality, with a hint of Harpo Marx. I enjoyed the first part of the performance best, when there was an effort at conveying a story. I understand that audiences often enjoy virtuoso dancing--completely divorced from narrative plot--as was carried out after the intermission, but I prefer choreographed narrative. Also, could the program notes have given a more accurate account of the story as it was actually represented? The plot summary only vaguely referred to the performance as it was actually interpreted. Also, who wrote the music? And what about the story? Cappelius is a character appearing in E.T.A. Hoffman's "Sandman," and while his story involves a life-sized doll, the plot is quite different. Can you provide some more information about the ballet itself? Still, overall, it was a very enjoyable performance. I do agree--as one audience member complained-- that live music is far more exciting, but I understand that production costs can be staggering.

I am a long time subscriber to the ballet series (10+ years) and the Thursday evening performance did not live up to my expectations. While the principal female dancer was outstanding - her technical and artistic abilities were a joy to watch - and there was good chemistry between her and the 2 principal male dancers, the corps was terrible. Their lack of synchronicity was so distracting I was wondering if they were the junior varisty squad. I disliked almost every moment they were on the stage. Regarding the programs I miss having the biogrophies of the dancers in it and the story of Coppelia as told in the program did not seem to match up with the dancing. As I think back over all the performaces I've seen this one was one of the least enjoyable. However, I know my disappointment in this event is a rare occurance and I eagerly await the next performance in my series in March.

The ballet was a light and entertaining story, but the dancing was a little too sloppy at times. I agree with a previous comment that the lead ballerina was wonderful but the number of times that the corps was not together was annoying. Also, the program was lacking. Although I searched, I could not find the name of the music's composer. Also, there were no little pictures and descriptions of the principal dancers of the company, which is always interesting.

I have seen many ballets in the past (at Northrop Auditorium, Mariinsky Theater in Saint-Petersburg, even Cuban ballet in Genova, Italy) but I was most impressed and touched by Moscow Festival Ballet's performance of Coppelia on Friday night... thank you for such a memorable experience and I can not wait until they come to Minneapolis again!!!

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