Celebrating 15 Years of Footworks Youth Ballet Performances

Coppélia is where brilliant classical dance meets a delightfully comic narrative. Photo by Todd Lechtick

This year marks the 15th year of full-scale, live ballet stage productions by Ventura’s Footworks Youth Ballet, where students and audiences alike experience the utmost in classical ballet. Students fill lead roles whenever possible in productions like The Nutcracker every December, or other classics like Snow White, Swan Lake, or Peter and the Wolf every spring. And this spring, they bring the timeless and comedic Coppélia to the Ventura College Performing Arts Center on June 1st (2 pm and 7 pm) and June 2nd (2 pm).

“We are excited to be bringing Coppélia to Ventura this spring,” says Artistic Director Kirsten Oakley. “One of the few comedic ballets in the classical ballet repertoire, Coppélia is the perfect story ballet for all audiences.”

Coppélia is where brilliant classical dance meets a delightfully comic narrative. The three-act ballet tells the lighthearted story of how Franz, a village boy engaged to Swanhilda, becomes infatuated with a life-like doll created by the eccentric inventor, Dr. Coppelius. Hilarity ensues over love and mistaken identity.

Originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon, Coppélia premiered in Paris in 1870. Saint-Léon’s interest in folk dancing figures prominently in the ballet, and is also reflected in the lush symphonic music by French composer Léo Delibes. With its tuneful and romantic music, Coppélia stands alongside such classics as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker as the best-loved and most enduring ballets of all time.

Based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffman, Coppélia introduced automatons, dolls and marionettes to ballet productions. Because of its success with audiences, ballets like The Nutcracker followed suit with dolls and toys that come to life. Coincidentally, The Nutcracker is also based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffman.

A delightful performance of ballet fun for families and children of all ages, The New York Times calls Coppélia “one of the happiest ballets in existence.”

Footworks Youth Ballet is a nonprofit ballet company located in Ventura, California, whose purpose is to provide educational opportunities to young people and the community through the art of ballet. Oakley Ballet Center is the official school of Footworks Youth Ballet.

Ventura College Performing Arts Center – Coppélia
June 1st: 2 pm and 7 pm
June 2nd: 2 pm
Tickets: $22
For info/tickets:  www.footworksyouthballet.org

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