Our 2019 production was Coppélia
The full 3 act ballet, with music by Leo Delibes, was presented by over
40 local young dancers between the ages of 8 - 17 years.
Coppélia is a comic, enchanting, family ballet, perfect for young and old alike.
A timeless classic from the golden age of classical ballet, Coppélia, with its tuneful, romantic music, stands alongside such classics as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty as one of the great works of the 19th century.
Coppélia is a charming, funny and comical ballet for all ages. The classic ballet is full of humour and ballet mime. It is often performed by small ballet companies because it doesn't require a large cast of world-class dancers, making it an ideal choice for a small production.
Cast of Characters
Dr Coppelius is a lonely old alchemist who lives in a two-storey house on the edge of the village square. He is regarded by the villagers as a sorcerer, someone who conducts strange experiments in his laboratory. They fear him and ridicule him.
Coppélia is his "daughter", a mechanical doll who is so lifelike she is able to fool the villagers into believing she is alive. Dr Coppelius is so enamoured of this doll that he tries to use magic to bring her to life.
Swanilda is one of the most beautiful girls of the village, Swanilda loves life and her fiancé, Franz. She and her friends are to be married at a mass wedding during the Harvest Festival on the following day.
Franz is engaged to marry Swanilda and he causes her a great deal of dismay when he notices the beautiful "new girl" in the village, Coppélia, throwing kisses at him. Not realising that she is only a mechanical doll, he is determined to discover whether she really loves him or not by breaking into Dr Coppelius’ house, where he finds himself in great danger.
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The Cast of Coppelia
TREVOR WOOD - Choreographer
Trevor was educated at the Arts Educational School – a centre of excellence where it is recognised that the future of this country’s theatre tradition depends. He gained extensive experience during his student years working alongside Barry Humphreys, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Donald Wolfit, Leo McKern, Colin Blakeley, Kenneth Williams, John Gilpin and David Kosoff. During this period Trevor also took part in four collaborations with the Guildhall School of Music. In his final year at Arts Educational School he won the prestigious "Alicia Markova Award" for dancing.
On graduation he worked briefly in Iran before he was contracted to join a new company in France directed by Rossella Hightower, who was the first 20th-century American ballerina to become a resident European star. Invaluable experience was drawn from these companies as he danced in Scherazade, La Bayadere, Ondine, Swan Lake, the Merry Widow and many experimental modern works.
On returning to London he was promptly recruited by London’s Festival Ballet (renamed English National Ballet ) where he stayed 10 years dancing in every production they had in their repertoire. He has performed in Opera houses around the world including Covent Garden, The London Coliseum and The Metropolitan Opera House in New York
While with ENB he developed a desire to choreograph his own ballets and trialled several in their ‘choreographic evenings’ It was after one of these that Trevor was invited to choreograph a piece for the main company, the first dancer in the company's history to be given this honour. Swith Bitch with a synopsis by Roald Dahl was performed at the London Coliseum.
Following the ten years he spent with English National Ballet, Trevor then pursued a parallel career, dancing in repertory theatre and musicals, whilst also teaching and choreographing. He has choreographed pieces in a variety of styles, working in musicals, operas, ballets, plays and pop videos, both in this country and on the continent.
He especially likes working with the next generation of performers. Highlights of this interest were, two productions with the New Youth Opera and with the Finchley Music Group, where he choreographed their production of "Anything Goes". When not choreographing Trevor still likes to teach and coach actors in movement and dance, including, recently, Keira Knightly. He has taught at the Arts Educational School, the Brit School, The British Ballet Organization and has lectured at two consecutive dance teachers' conferences for the "International Dance Teachers Association". He has also spent several years performing and choreographing with English Youth Ballet before being approached to join Orbital Arts to premiere Coppelia at the Elgiva Theatre.
ANNE MANGER - Assistant to the Choreographer
Annie was born in Melbourne, Australia. She began her ballet training at the age of 7, with Myra Rose, and was soon taking her Royal Academy of Dance exams.
At the age of 11, Annie joined a junior dance group, which performed twice a week on a daily childrens show. Being the eldest, she was the tallest, and was often cast as a boy. The repertoire was very varied and was learnt in one rehearsal. This proved invaluable experience, later on.
As there are no vocational dance schools in Australia, she continued her education and took dance classes after school and on Saturdays. Having passed all her grade exams, with honours, Annie moved on to another teacher, Paul Hammond, to continue studying and taking all the Major exams, including Solo Seal.
On leaving school, Annie then went to the Australian Ballet School for the 2 year course, graduating at the end of !966.
She became a member of the Australian Ballet Company in 1967, for 2 years. The then Artistic Director, Dame Peggy van Praagh, encouraged her to become a teacher, so she became a R.A.D. teacher in Mildura, Victoria, for 3 years.
But, Annie really wanted to perform. So she joined a small company that toured schools, giving a performance, as an introduction to the world of dance. This took her all around the state of New South Wales, then (as it was) Rhodesia, and finally landing in England.
In 1973, she auditioned and joined London Festival Ballet, now known as English National Ballet. Annie rose through the ranks from corps de ballet to senior soloist. During this time she worked with many world famous dancers and choreographers. She danced in all the classics, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, plus many modern and 1 act ballets.
Annie also helped establish the Company's Education Unit, along side John Travis, giving demonstrations, talks and teaching repertoire. She was also promoted to the Ballet staff, whilst still dancing and performing mime roles. She continued with mime roles, having finally hung up her pointe shoes,and became more involved with setting and rehearsing many ballets in the
company's repertoire. This gypsy life has taken her around the world, plus extensive touring in Britain.
On leaving E.N.B. in 1997, Annie retrained as a Montessori nursery teacher, and spent 12 happy years working with 2-5 year olds.
Annie first danced with Trevor Wood in the Company, and has since worked and rehearsed dancers involved in many projects with Trevor.
Telephone: 07771 905226 or 07971 827276