Review - Coppélia - Stanislavsky Ballet at The Coliseum
Semyon Velichko played Frantz, the boy enraptured by the life-like doll of the ballet’s title, with carefree charm and boyish swagger embodied in his leaps and facial expressions. As the real true love of Frantz, Natalia Somova’s Swanhilda was portrayed with sassiness and wit in her attempt to win back the silly doll-obsessed Frantz. The interactions between the two principles were both sexy and farcical.
Like a Tim Burton character thrown into the middle of a saccharine Disney picture, Anton Domashev’s Coppelius was at turns creepy and funny with a touch of sadness (creating a doll to have as a companion? He’s clearly very lonely and unhappy!). Domashev resembles a silent film era character that could have lent itself to either slapstick comedy or horror. The macabre of Coppelius is cranked up a notch with his first dance with a corpse-like doll, before Swanhilda pretends to be said doll coming to life, and intoxicating Frantz with spiked Champagne.
The set is stark yet bold without being imposing - bare white pillars and walls with arched entrances depicts the town. The set really comes into its own in the second act which takes place in Dr Coppelius toyshop with a giant dresser filled with disembodied dolls’ limbs moving frantically while the drawers beneath light up, opening and closing - a delightfully gothic touch.