My First Coppélia offers children a chance to experience ballet in a fun and accessible way. The story is reduced to 95 minutes (including interval) and there’s an onstage narrator to explain the mime gestures. But everything else about the production is highly professional. Produced by English National Ballet and danced by students of English National Ballet School, there is plenty to like for young and old alike.
The cast dance well on the whole. Most impressive is Kaylee Marko, who performs Swanilda with an exquisite elegance and lyricism. Even during some rather wobbly partnering (understandable bearing in mind the ballet’s complex choreography), she maintained a supreme confidence and poise. No doubt Marko has a glittering future ahead.
Though the ballet could use some fine tuning in the narrative (Dr Coppelius, the toy maker, describes a life that would make most suicidal only to shrug and declare “oh well”), it is thoroughly enjoyable and an ideal way to inspire and entertain youngsters this Easter.
My First Coppelia is at the Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street WC2, until 19 April. Tickets priced £10-£25 are available from the Sadler’s Wells website. Londonist received a complimentary ticket to review this show.