What PNB Fans Are Saying

Coppélia, June 3-13, 2010

"Coppelia is delightful! I was mesmerized from beginning to end. The colors of the set and the costumes were fresh and invigorating and the dancers were at their all time best. I wish that I had the time to go to several more performances during the run to see other casts as well. Thank you, Peter Boal, for pursuing your dream. -Gail"

"Dear Friends at PNB. Coppelia was the highlight of the season for me. The newly created sets and costumes sparkled freshness. The Balanchine choreography was a revelation. Carla Korbes was superlative in the lead role. Seeing Peter Boal on stage was lovely. I smiled the entire performance and for days afterwards. Thank you for an amazing gift. -Linda Bendixen"

"We loved this show. It is beautifully done from the sets to the dancing to the acting. I think I could have immediately sat through the whole thing again! I was very concerned however, about how many dancers lost their footing. I actually thought you were going to close the curtain and clean the floor. I hope that whatever the problem is, it will be fixed. I hate to see these beautiful dancers risk injury. Thank you for a beautiful evening."

"Dear Mr. Boal,
We thought the opera was delightful. The singing, music and staging were wonderful, especially the sets & especially for the first act.
The only quibble would be that we are in agreement with previous stagers and not with Balanchine (perish the thought) in that most of the 3rd act was a bit weak and noncontributory. The whole would have been better if this part had been truncated but, perhaps, retaining some of the junior dancing (who were extraneous but fun and popular).
We also enjoyed the pre-show lecture.
Sincerely, James"

"Costumes, sets, music, choreography, absolute perfection! I've been a PNB subscriber for 12 years and I must say this is one of my favorites. I've encouraged many friends to go. Thank you Peter Boal!"

It is a wonderful version of “Coppelia”, which we did not see before. With so many PNB school students on the stage, it looks like that the entire PNB School is involved in the performance. The staging and custom design are beautiful. Indeed, it is an excellent production of “Coppelia”. -Fred "

"The young ballerinas were incredible--they were amazingly well-trained and added so much to every scene they were in. I loved the third act--the wedding dances were awe-inspiring, especially the male star's solos. The costumes were fantastic. Thanks for a great night!"

"Is Coppelia a great production? We have attended it twice already and will add a new cast and seat location on Saturday night. The music, sets, lighting, and costumes are fabulous and bear repeated viewings. We know from experience that we capture more nuances each time we repeat a performance. And in Coppelia there are so many nuances. Yes, it is a great production. - Bob & Barbara "

"I would like to comment on my experience at PNB. I realize one cannot control who purchases a ticket or who attends a performance. But, when you are surrounded by individuals coughing, sneezing and clearing their throats it is difficult to enjoy the show. Was there a group purchase? The reason I ask is because I have never been surrounded by so many ill individuals.
In reference to the choreography, scenery and dancers. I was not impressed with the hanging bodies in the toy shop, the toy dragging her limp feet across the floor or the passed out lover. Just not my idea of a quality storyline.
I also noticed several of the dancers needed new point shoes. It is difficult hold point when the shank is on the verge of collapse. To be frank, the evening was a disappointment.
I am sorry for the note. Not the opinion you probably wanted to hear.

"This was not the ballet I was waiting for all year as the story ballets are not usually my favourite- but I was completely entranced! Carla Korbes IS Coppelia and I simply cannot imagine a more captivating performance! She managed to not only be utterly convincing as a young playful girl, as well as a life-size doll but completely wowed us with her superb dancing! She never holds back but this was stupendous from her first entrance. The scenes with Carla and Peter Boal were hilarious and truly delightful. Balanchine and Danilova would have been proud. Great dance was complemented with great costumes which were the best I’ve ever seen at PNB – gorgeous. Thank you Carla and Seth(who was also great), and Peter Boal - and thank you PNB! I shall not forget this truly memorable performance. I highly recommend that no one miss this one! -Erica"

"I am happy with everything about PNB - from performances to marketing. I am lucky to live close enough (Bainbridge Island) to such delights. I am enchanted. -Tom"

"I enjoyed this ballet very much; I was smiling all the rest of the day!"

"Thank you PNB for the pure magic of your Coppéllia. -Patricia"

"Carla Korbes was fabulous! Is she the new Patricia Barker?? A delightful, entertaining evening with beautiful dancing and beautiful costumes! Loved the sets too. -Kate "

"Dear PNB,
My five year old daughter and I have attended the four ballets in the 2009-2010 Fairy Tale series and have been overwhelmed by each. I grew up attending ballets in San Francisco and Oakland and had found myself getting bored with ballet in general and thought perhaps I had simply outgrown the art. When purchasing the Fairy Tale tickets, I felt I was making a grand effort to take my daughter to the ballets at PNB as a way of exposing her to the performing arts. As it turns out, the PNB has rekindled the love and awe I felt for ballet when I was a child. Nutcracker was a delight to the senses; Sleeping Beauty was the most beautiful ballet I have ever seen; Hansel and Gretel was immensely charming; but Coppelia was not only a beautiful ballet, wonderfully choreographed with lovely sets, but it was packed with personality and humor. The dancer who played Swalinda for our performance (Lesley Rausch) had the audience laughing out loud with her coy and impudent manner.
I must also confess that my most favorite aspect of the PNB has been the inclusion of their amazing young students in each of the performances. It lifted my heart each time they came on stage and I was always amazed at the talent of those very young dancers.
Thank you, and we look forward to next year. Niki and Maddie"

"Beautiful! Stunning! Fabulous! And there are many more adjectives that describe the lovely performance of Coppelia. As a Mother's Day gift I bought tickets for my mom and me and the two of us had a delightful afternoon together. The costumes and scenery were breathtaking. I was impressed with the dancers' ability to truly dance their emotions and enjoyed the opportunity to chuckle.
I received my brochure of the upcoming 2010 - 2011 season and have already started planning. Thank you for the perfect opportunity for the two of us to spend time together. I look forward to attending next year.
Sincerely, Elisabeth"

"Hi! Funny you should send such an email because we posted this review on our ballet schools blog and facebook page immediately after seeing the show on Saturday night! BROVO!
An ASB MUST SEE: Pacific Northwest Ballet's Coppelia! You WILL NOT believe the sets, the quality of dancing, the music, the comedy (Nate and I were both laughing out loud), and how quickly the time goes by! We didn't want it to be over! It's ballet's great comedy, and great for all ages! You can still see it next week: June 10th to the 13th! Go to www.pnb.org for tickets! You'll be glad you did! Thanks so much to all who contributed to the greatest gift ever! We could not have enjoyed ourselves more! -Margaret "

"I'm not crazy about story ballets, but I loved the third act of Coppelia. Wonderful dancing, wonderful choreography, beautiful costumes and sets, and the children were both darling and impressive. This New Yorker is now a fan of the PNB! -Bonnie "

"I took my daughter and 5 year old grandson to Saturday's matinee. He was quite entranced, even from our seats in the "nosebleed" section, and wanted to know when we could go again. (This was quite a compliment because his younger brother was attending a Mariners game at the same time.)
Just a couple of comments: Too many soloists in the final wedding act made it drag on longer than necessary (but the 24 little girls in pink were oh so cute). And by the time we decided to look for the posters that were given away at the "activity" table, there were none to be found. Those advertised activities were not all that enticing either. Had we known, we would have enjoyed the sunshine a while longer before arriving.
I suspect we'll be back next season for one of the fairytales. -Jean"

"What a wonderful end of a great season! The scenery! The costumes! The lighting! The dancing! We saw Mara Vinson, James Moore, and Jeffrey Stanton: they were all just great. I was surprised to see Stanton in a character role, as I had not thought of him that way before. I loved how the costumes were so much apart of the scenery theme and I was tickled to see the initials on the bells...very cute! -Hazel"

"Dear Mr. Boal and Pacific Northwest Ballet,
It is my pleasure to respond to your request that viewers share their thoughts about Coppélia.
I have been attending the Pacific Northwest Ballet since the early 80’s. At that time, PNB was something special under the tutelage of Francia Russell and Kent Stowell. It was hard to imagine who would take their places. I didn’t think it was possible, Mr. Boal, but you have taken the ballet from great to even greater. You have produced so many exciting performances (I saw Slaughter on Tenth Avenue twice) with a thoughtful combination of new and old (although I will admit the metal table ensemble was a stretch for me). PNB and Seattle are lucky to have you.
But I do have one criticism. I was very happy to see that you would be performing in a few select performances of Coppélia. I was there on opening night. It was wonderful to see you dance. But, I missed you on the curtain call. I know your absence was a reflection of your modesty, but your performance did deserve recognition, not only for the dance but for your contribution to ballet in Seattle.
Keep up the good work and thank you and the wonderful dancers and staff of PNB. -Claire"

"We loved it. Beautiful dancing and music and the sets were glorious. Thank you. We'll be back as subscribers next year for sure. -Gail "

"Could it be any better? I can't imagine. The sets, the costumes, the dancing were so magnificent last night. What an incredible vision Roberta Guidi di Bagno has to create such beautiful and colorful costumes and set. The school girls were so good in their dancing and unison - very impressive. Our stars were stars and then some. All solos were done so well and Kaori and Jonathan were lovely and acted so well. Did Peter not come on stage for curtain call because he had already stolen the show? All aspects of the ballet were so superb that no one part could steal the show, but Peter was a delight to watch. Friends with us who are still discovering ballet (attending one or 2 in last 2 years) absolutely loved it. Tom said, "That could become your spring Nutcracker." I look forward to reading reviews and to watch the attendance numbers jump for the second weekend.
Bravo!!!!! -Linda"

"I loved it. The sets and costumes were beautiful. The dancing was wonderful. The evening was magical. -Sally "

"We enjoyed Coppelia so much! I took my 9 year old daughter and her friend from school and not only was it great to have it on our calendar to look forward to, but the show was amazing to watch. The ballet dancers were so lovely to watch and the sets and costumes couldn’t have been more beautiful. Thank you for having the great “under 25” rates! It was wonderful to see so many adults enjoying the ballet with their young ones as well as clearly seeing young couples on “dates” to the ballet…great exposure to the arts. Congratulations on a wonderful and memorable production! -Barbara"

"While the costuming and sets were truly stunning, the dancing was not up to the standards that I feel PNB has set for itself.
I went to the Saturday 6/5 evening performance, and the male lead slipped and fell several times. Even before those grimace inducing falls, he was landing his jumps and turns as soft and sloppy as one might expect from a PNB school dancer, not a principal. Though the ballerina how danced the lead truly carried the performance, I felt anxious each time she was forced to leap into her partner's arms -- awaiting a huge crash as he might let her fall as he let himself.
The corps was likewise sloppy, the lines on stage were out of sync and a bit all over the place.
I am a season ticket subscriber, and am only writing in because of the email query. However, had that been my introduction to PNB, I would not have had the same impression of the company that I have. -Kelsey"

"Loved the show! We felt especially lucky to see Carla & Seth perform in lead roles - so well matched and beautiful to watch, good dramatic skills as well. Lavish, playful, delightful."

"What a way to end the season. Coppelia was fabulous on so many counts. One can’t help but be wowed by the costumes, sets, and the student performers. This for John and I was all just further enhanced by seeing many of our favorite dancers perform on opening night. Just to name a few Jonathan, Kaori, Carrie, Ariana, Bold, Kiyon, and Liora. Oh yes, and we can’t go without mentioning the guest performance of Peter. How delightful was that!!! We have been recommending it to everyone we talk to. Bravo!!!! -Carolyn"

"We enjoyed this production very much, especially the children and the use of the ballet school for the villagers and in the war scene. The costumes were imaginative and beautiful, and the music was first rate, as always.
We have bought the Fairy Tale series for next season as well, for our own enjoyment as well as that of our granddaughter. Thanks for staging Coppelia, finally and we are looking forward to Giselle! -Gayle and Michael"


"We went to the opening night. It was fabulous. One of the best ballets we have ever seen! The choreography was full of surprises and the dancing superb. The costumes and set were magical. The acting, which we really don't expect in ballet, was fun, well executed and made the evening a pure delight. Everyone left smiling and excited. I wish it were here longer to get more people to see it. You don't even have to be a ballet fan to love this performance."

"Outstanding! Fantastic! Exhilarating! A magnificent gift to the PNB audience! Thank you!
I've been a PNB subscriber for years, and have enjoyed watching its quality grow to world-class status. Coppelia was among the very best I've seen. The dancers danced superbly, with precision, command, and that very special element of verve and spirit. Mara Vinson brought me to my feet with her flawless and exciting performance as Swanilda."

"Coppelia is one of my favorite ballets (so is Tales of Hoffman--have you considered doing that one?) and the current production is the best. I was entranced by the costumes and the sets, the dancing was wonderful--everything about this performance was a pleasure to see and experience."

"Coppelia was the best experience I have ever had at the ballet. It was simply fantastic. I was fortunate enough to see Carla Korbes and Seth Orza, and I must say they nailed the pantomime. I was laughing out loud, along with the rest of the audience. My parents were in town visiting and I took them to see this show. They aren't "ballet people" but they really enjoyed themselves at the show, as well as at the pre-performance lecture and post-performance question and answer session. We all had a great evening. Everyone should be so fortunate as to get to see PNB's Coppelia. -Lisa"

"I took my 95 year old mother to see Coppelia last Saturday. She told me it was the best ballet performance she had seen in a long time, and she has attended many of the PNB's ballets over the years. It was a breathtaking performance due in part to the magical sets and the splendid costumes. The dancing was also excellent, and our hearts were melted by the performance of the young dancers from the PNB ballet school. Watching these young ladies perform was a real treat, and it brought tears to my eyes to imagine the dreams of each of the young dancers who someday hope to be starring ballerinas themselves. Thank you for an outstanding performance which delighted so many."

"I took my daughter and some friends to this ballet for my daughters birthday. It has been her favorite ballet story for years but we had never seen it danced. It was amazing! The costumes were stunning. The stage scenery was beautiful and full of detail. My daughter and her friends enjoyed finding the secret homages hidden in the scenery. The dancing was elegant and gracious but fun and humorous like the story.
It was an absolute delight. Thank you so much! -Kristin "

"What a Magical Evening! I had the pleasure of taking my three teenaged granddaughters to your Saturday evening performance of Coppelia and I must say, all four of us were mesmerized. The sets and the costumes were exquisite and of course the dancing was beyond expectations. The orchestra lived up to all expectations as usual. All in all, it was an enchanting evening. Thank you PNB for providing a first class, beautiful experience. Seattle is so fortunate to have The Pacific Northwest Ballet in our midst. -Judy"

"We loved every minute! It's one of the best we've enjoyed from PNB: great costumes, superb dancing and choreography, fine orchestra. The mechanical automaton dancers and the Old Inventor, Mr. Boal, added an amusing touch. The child dancers were delightful. The event was classical dance at its best. Congrats to Boal and Company! Delibes himself would have shouted Hoorah! Thank you big time!
Sincerely, A Very Satisfied Subscriber."

"The performance of Coppelia was one of the most ourstanding, beautifully performed PNB ballets yet!! Not only superb dancing but the colors, music, costumes and sets were equally magnificent. Congratulations on continuing to astound us! Best wishes, Dee Dickinson"

"Very well done! I'm not a fan of Peter Boal. This production came as a pleasant suprise. -Jean"

"I was looking forward to seeing PNB's production of Coppelia and saw two different casts on the Thursday opening night and also on Friday, and it turned out to be even better than I had expected. It had fabulous music, beautiful sets, great humor in act two and in act three the amazing Balanchine choreography we are used to seeing at PNB.
Every season I have a greater appreciation of Kaori Nakamura and she was sensational on opening night ( apparently despite being injured). Mara Vinson's elegance on Friday night was absolutely beautiful. I would like to see even more casts and always notice the depth of talent in the Company. The performances of Franz and Dr. Coppelius both nights were excellent, including of course, Peter Boal on opening night. I can certainly see why he would come out of retirement for that role.
I expected to see an enthusiastic review from Alastair McCauley in the NY Times; He occasionally says some very positive things about PNB, but I don't know if he was at the performance. (He recently mentioned "the scholar, Doug Fullington" in reference to the Balanchine-Petipa demonstration.)
This was a great program to end the season. -Gene"

"This was the first time I have ever seen the Ballet and loved every minute of it. The choreography was "so Ballenchine" that I had tears in my eyes. the dancers were great (as usual). I especially liked Jerome Tisserand, whom I do not remember having seen before.
I was also surprised to hear the first few notes of the music - know the piece well but did not know it was from Coppelia.
I am very glad to be able to write good comments after my last diatribe over Mopey and Red Angels. At that time I decided not to renew for next season but have found out since then that I could subscribe to only 4 ballets instead of all 6. So called the box office today and did the necessary.
I was surprised that it was not a full house since you had so many things going for children. Talking of children, the young ballerinas were great - I hope they are aware how much we enjoyed their performance. You do not have to share this with others, but if you do, please omit my last name.
Thanks for a great afternoon. -Edith"

"Mr. Boal:
My 20 year old daughter and I attended PNB's production of Swan Lake last year and were quite excited when we got tickets for the Saturday (June 5) matinee of Coppelia. We came with high expectations and were wow-ed by the set design, costumes, and the orchestra was so beautiful. The dancing, however, was just okay to very good (whereas, we thought the dancing in Swan Lake was amazing and at times took our breath away). We were wondering if there was something different either in the choreography or the experience of the dancers at our matinee (not being able to compare it with the other performances). To be specific, we loved the young girls in the 3rd act and thought the corps de ballet wasn't bad. mostly it was the lead roles, especially Franz who weren't up to par. The first act was the best and Swanilda did an excellent performance with the character.
Please understand that we are just wondering about this - it's just our meagre opinion and we don't mean to be overly critical. Really, we did have a great time. I guess it's just since we paid over $100 per ticket, we were expecting perfection and to be awed like before. I'm really not expecting you to publish this email on the website, but instead would like a bit of an answer to the above. Thank you and sincerely, -R & S "

"I am a piano teacher and brought 6 high school students to see "Coppelia" on Saturday night, June 5th. We could have gone home at the second intermission and the students would have been happy. They got to see beautiful dancing. The third scene made it just a little too long. Since I live in Lynnwood and we drive the students home some of us didn't get home until 11:30. I wasn't happy about keeping the kids out that late. Interesting, in all the years I've gone to the ballet it was the first time I've seen dancers stumble, one even fell. That was so unusual. But, I'll still come to the ballet and bring students. It might be the only time they'll see ballet and who knows, as an adult they'll come back. -Carolyn"

"Ballet is the perfect blend of music and performance, but Coppelia is sensory overload! The Delibes score is lively and familiar, and the PNB dancers mesmerized with their acting, poetic movement, and athleticism. Trying to take this all in leaves no time to study the sets or drink in the gorgeous costuming. I, for one, will never tire of this performance of Coppelia. Once again, PNB and Peter Boal makes me so glad I am a subscriber.
Okay...that was the "official" review. It was a scrumptious performance (I saw Korbes and Orza). The costuming was to die for and the sets were very fun. Well done, PNB. (And Peter, too, in his role as Dr. Coppelius...what fun!) And, special thanks to Glenn Kawasaki for leading the way to make it happen. -Susan"

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