Metropolitan Ballet Company (MBC) will open its 2017-18 season with the classic storybook ballet, Coppélia (The Girl with the Enamel Eyes), featuring two of its alumni now dancing professionally as guest artists in the beloved comic ballet’s leading roles. Melissa Gelfin, a soloist with Cincinnati Ballet, will dance the role of Swanhilda, the village girl in love with Franz; while Peter Weil, who joined Pennsylvania Ballet in 2015, will perform as Franz, the boy whose misguided attempts to woo Coppélia—a life-size doll—cause mayhem in his village. Both Ms. Gelfin and Mr. Weil grew up in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and trained at Metropolitan Ballet Academy (MBA) and Company under founder and Artistic Director Lisa Collins Vidnovic. The starring role of Doctor Coppélius will be danced by MBA faculty member Sergey Pupyrev, a former Principal dancer with the Russian State Ballet in Moscow.
Coppélia, a family-friendly ballet that is enchanting for all generations, will be presented in MBC’s Family Concert Series performances on Saturday, November 18 at 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm, and Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 pm at Abington Friends School’s Josephine Muller Auditorium, 575 Washington Lane, Jenkintown, PA 19046. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door; purchase online at www.metropolitanballetcompany.org or call 215-663-1665. Schools and groups are welcome.
Originally produced in 1870 at the Paris Opera, to a commissioned score by Leo Delibes with choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon, Coppélia is notable for being the first classical ballet to introduce folk or national dance in the form of Czardas and Mazurka, and MBC’s performance continues this tradition with exuberant dances by its guest artists and highly talented pre-professional Company dancers—all students from throughout the greater Philadelphia region—including boys from MBC’s renowned Boys’ Scholarship Program.
“Metropolitan Ballet’s Family Concert Series is designed to be a community cultural event that children, parents and even grandparents call all enjoy together,” says Lisa Collins Vidnovic. “This is a wonderful way for families and schools to introduce children to dance, with fully-produced story ballets that delight and inspire. The Series is part of our mission to bring high-quality dance to our community and to help people of all ages develop a love and appreciation for dance and the arts. We are grateful to the Matthews Children’s Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and our many donors who make these productions possible, and we welcome all to enjoy them.”
About Metropolitan Ballet Company
Metropolitan Ballet Company is a pre-professional dance company affiliated with Metropolitan Ballet Academy, a classical dance studio founded by Lisa Collins Vidnovic that in two decades has earned recognition from POINTE magazine as one of “seven local studios in America cultivating top talent” (November 2011). MBC has trained numerous dance artists who now perform with professional companies across America. More than 100 Metropolitan students have earned highest honors at Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and/or scholarships for intensive study with many prestigious ballet companies nationwide.
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