Film Review: Coppelia

Dating back to the Italian renaissance, ballet grew out of the courts over the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Popularity peaked during the next hundred years, but it has retained its appeal for a significant minority, especially within developed countries. Over the years it has evolved and often morphed into modern dance, allowing it to break away from traditional shackles. Coppelia takes a story dating back to the late nineteenth century and adds a contemporary twist.

Swan (Michaela DePrince) and Franz (Daniel Camargo) are in love. However, when a mysterious cosmetic surgeon (Vito Mazzeo) comes to town, she notices that he’s distracted by a curious figure (Erica Horwood) in his house. The new arrival soon has the townsfolk under his spell, including the major (Darcey Bussell), but Swan is suspicious. She sets out to uncover the truth and save her sweetheart.

First and foremost, it’s great to see something like Coppelia being made. Dialogue free, it relies on dance and CGI to tell the story and does so really well. The highlight is the choreography. With the animation allowing new and interesting possibilities. Steven de Beul, Ben Tesseur and Jeff Tudor’s film falters when the animation starts to take over. This partially break Coppelia’s spell but doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience.

Coppelia opens in UK cinemas on 1 April.

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