Coppéliaholds a special place in the Australian Ballet’s repertoire. It was one of the first ballets performed by the Company in its inaugural 1962 season. In 1979, Dame Peggy van Praagh collaborated with theatre director George Ogilvie and designer Kristian Fredrikson to create a beautiful new version.
Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo in Coppélia. Photograph © Daniel Boud
Van Praagh’s production has been seen many times over the years, most recently in 2016 when the lovingly revived ballet was performed in Melbourne and Sydney. Now it is taking to the big screen thanks to a partnership between the Australian Ballet and CinemaLive. Opening this weekend (April 29 & 30), Coppéliawill be shown for a limited time at cinemas across Australia.
The cinema event features a performance filmed live at the Sydney Opera House last December with AB principals Ako Kondo and Chengwu Guo starring as village sweethearts Swanilda and Franz.
At the start of the film, the camera sweeps over Sydney Harbour, down to the Opera House forecourt where the casually dressed Kondo and Guo welcome viewers and then head for the dressing room to prepare...