Metro Dancers ready “COPPELIA” for Marshall High stage

No culture in outer East Portland, you say? See why many are buying tickets for a funny and fast-paced ballet right here …

Ballerinas from Metro Dancers try on their costumes, as they rehearse for the upcoming production of Coppélia.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The stage of shuttered Marshall High School will again come alive with color and action for two shows on May 11, as the ballet Coppélia takes the stage.

The reason that this ballet – first performed in 1870 at the Opéra Le Peletier in Paris, France – became one of the most-performed shows at that venue is clear, Metro Dancers’ Artistic Director, Nancy Yeamans, told East Portland News.

Metro Dancers’ Artistic Director, Nancy Yeamans, helps a dancer with her costume.

“It’s a love story, with elements of mystery and surprise – yet, with an easy-to follow storyline,” Yeamans explained. “That makes it a great ‘first ballet’ experience for adults who have never attended this kind of dance performance – and even more so, for young people.”

The story unfolds as a girl, with dazzling, hypnotic “enamel-like eyes”, appears on the balcony of the village’s mysterious inventor, Dr. Coppelius. This “new girl in town” – Coppélia – attracts the amorous attention of the about-to-be-wed Frantz, much to the disgust of his fiancé, Swanhilde.

The jilted Swanhilde (center) dances up a plan with her friends.

“When Coppélia starts flirting with Frantz, Swanilda takes this badly, and breaks off the engagement – even though they’re to be wed the next day,” recounted Yeamans. “What Swanhilde and her friends find, when they sneak into Dr. Coppelius’ workshop, astonishes everyone!”

What evil plan has Dr. Coppelius hatched?

Will Swanhilde win back the heart and hand of her beloved Frantz?

Come to the performance on May 11, and all will be revealed!

Swanhilde shows off her wedding dress to Frantz and Brigeta.

Special reception planned
For an additional fee to help support non-profit Portland Metro Arts programs, guests are also invited to experience “Brigitta’s Garten”, between the matinee and evening performances, from 4:40 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

“Guests will be served a lovely little light meal and beverages,” Yeamans said. “And, they’ll have the opportunity to meet their favorite character and cast members.”

Performances of Coppélia are at 3:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the performance only are $18 for adults and $13 for K-8 students, and Seniors.

A combined ticket for either performance – and hospitality in Brigitta’s Garten – is $27 for adults, $18 for K-8 students and Seniors.  CLICK HERE to securely purchase tickets online.

David Lirison, Jonathan Mullen, and Len Mills refurbish sets they’ll be taking to the Marshall High School Theater for the performance of Coppélia.

Both performances take place at in the Lents neighborhood in the Marshall High School Auditorium, 3905 SE 91st Avenue. The access road is one long block south of SE Powell Boulevard, on SE 92nd Avenue.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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