February 3, 2013 by mamie
Completed Date: 1/28/13
Description: As my third piece in my “Creating Stories and Emotion though Ballet in Art” series, I chose the ballet Coppélia. Last spring, I danced in excerpts from the ballet and learned a little about the story when I danced the parts of Dawn and Coppélia.
Simplistically, the ballet is about a lonely toymaker/sorcerer (Dr. Coppelius) who creates a realistic doll named Coppélia who sits at the window and keeps him company. When Dr. Coppelius casts a spell on Coppélia, she comes to life, and he becomes quite excited. However, it is really only Swanhilda, a peasant from the village, who sneaked into the toymaker’s home to play a trick on Dr. Coppelius. When he finds out he did not bring his doll to life, Dr. Coppelius is devastated. Even so, Swanhilda comforts him, and the whole village convenes at the newly constructed bell tower to celebrate Swanhilda and Franz’s wedding.
In my painting, I chose to capture the moment where Dr. Coppelius joyously brings his doll to life. It is a moment of hope when all of his loneliness disappears, and he finally has a friend. Even though he soon discovers the truth about Swanhilda’s trick, the townspeople include him in their celebration and, after the incident, no longer make fun of the old man. In its entirety, the ballet is about hope and friendship. As the sun rises and the bells ring, Dr. Coppelius finds happiness at last.