The Hampton Ballet Theatre School presents its spring production of the ballet Coppelia on Friday at 7 PM, Saturday at 1 PM and 7 PM, and Sunday at 2 PM at the John Drew Theater at Guild Hall. The school is entering its 11th year.
Coppelia is a comedic ballet about a courtship between characters Swanhilda and Franz, and the doll, Coppelia, who Franz mistakenly courts. The character of Dr. Coppelius’s bumbling antics will entertain all ages, according to the HBTS.
Devon Friedman (Swanhilda) and Vincenzo James Harty (Franz) are both advanced, level seven, professional students at HBTS. Harty, now 19 years old and heading off to college in the fall, has been with HBTS’s director and choreographer Sara Jo Strickland since he was only two-and-a-half; a rare male model amid a predominantly female industry, she noted.
“Because I’ve trained [my students], it’s like an artist with paint. I have my own dancers and they can do pretty much anything,” said Strickland.
Training for a ballet is no easy feat, with eight weeks of rehearsal before opening night, on top of a preexisting class schedule. Dancers range in age from four to 19. “They’ve been working so hard that people will be surprised by the level and difficulty of their dancing. I’m always just proud of all the dancers,” she said. She noted that the all-ages comedy is ideal for those wishing to get a taste of spring.
Costume designer, Yuka Silvera, creates beautifully worn garments that reflect the season.
Other show credits include Leo Delibes, score composer, Sebastian Paczynski, lighting design, and Nick Peregrino and Adam and Gail Baranello of A&G Dance Company.