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Updated: Mar 15

"Coppelia" is a ballet in three acts, created by the French choreographer Arthur Saint-Léon, with music by Léo Delibes. It was presented for the first time on May 25, 1870 at the Paris Opera.


The story of "Coppelia" is based on a fantastic tale by Ernst Hoffmann entitled "The Sandman". The ballet tells the story of the young couple formed by Franz and Swanilda, who live in a village. Franz is attracted to a mechanical doll called Coppelia, which is created by the mysterious Dr. Coppelius. Swanilda, jealous of Franz's attention to Coppelia, decides to discover the doll's secret.

One day, Swanilda and her friends break into Dr. Coppelius' studio and discover that Coppelia is actually a doll. They have fun by taking Coppelia's place and deceiving Dr. Coppelius. Eventually, Franz, who has also discovered the truth, breaks into the workshop and is captured by Dr. Coppelius, who wishes to transfer Franz's soul into Coppelia's body.

Swanilda, determined to save Franz, uses her wits to trick Dr. Coppelius and free Franz. Once freed, Franz realizes his love for Swanilda, and they reconcile. The ballet ends with a wedding party where the villagers celebrate their love.

"Coppelia" is often considered one of the most charming comic ballets in the classical repertoire. It highlights the technique and virtuosity of the dancers, as well as moments of humor and lightness. The variations of the main characters, Swanilda and Franz, as well as the character dances of the village and the pantomime numbers of Dr. Coppelius, are among the ballet's most memorable moments.

Since its creation, "Coppelia" has been reworked and adapted by numerous choreographers, while retaining the essence of the love story and the magic that surrounds the mechanical doll. It continues to be performed on stages around the world and remains a ballet enjoyed by both dancers and audiences.

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