A Doll of a Dance

During the 19th Century, when industry and science were transforming the Western world, artists across the globe became obsessed with all the new possibilities on the horizon, both good and evil. Mary Shelley imagined a man named Frankenstein dabbling with chemistry and lightening to create a monster. The German romantic E.T.A. Hoffmann also depicted a creepy sort of invention by a human in The Sandman, in which Dr. Coppelius creates a life-size dancing doll. This story was reinterpreted as a ballet in 1870 in Paris, with a much lighter focus and music from Léo Delibes, becoming a romantic comedy of sorts in which the very much alive Swanhilda has to compete for Franz’s love with the dancing doll, Coppelia. George Balanchine gave it his own spin in 1974, and now the Miami City Ballet will finish off its 2012 season with its own take of Coppelia at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Because the story takes place in a small Polish village, the dances incorporate elements of Eastern European folk-dance traditions, such as the mazurka and czarda.
Fri., March 30, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 31, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 1, 2 p.m., 2012
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Anne Tschida of artburstmiami.com