This is a production that tends in its concept more towards Neumier's Sylvia than anything else. Neumier stuck to the original score of Sylvia. It was a success. Bart has borrowed much from other compositions of Delibes to make his dream come true.
Neumier wins, Bart loses.
This is more like a 'Mayerling' or 'La Boutique Fantasque' or even 'Gaite Parisienne' wherein a potpourri of tunes from various compositions of the composer were strung together to make a wholesome ballet. Those ballets were successes of their times.
I have no problem being cruel enough to suggest that this one looks like a production wherein a playright borrowed the juice out of Verdi's Othello and incorporated it into his Falstaff to create an effect. Or music from the sad part of Swan Lake incorporated into the Nutcracker to make it look and sound very serious and sombre!!!!!!
Luckily, I am totally familiar with both Lakme as well as Le Rois from where Bart has borrowed the music. But in totallity, the effect is like that of Coppelia who has lost like her innocence, forever......
What Bart tries to do in this production, is to try and make it different for the sake of making it different. There is only a 'flavour' of the original score of Coppelia as composed by Delibes, and most of those tunes are kept more for the minor stuff in the ballet.
The juice that provides the essence of what Bart has been trying to do, comes more from Le Rois and Lakme. He turns to those compositions for the 'darker' side of Coppelia, more than the score of what Delibes originally composed, which is sadly and badly truncated.
Coppelia, as a Ballet was conceived by Delibes and his collaborators as a joyful, playful and very flippant composition, adapted from a much darker story by ETA Hoffman. Now, to bring it back to a 'Dark' version of Coppelia influenced more by the original story from Hoffman, is something that is laudable, provided one can stay within the ambit of the music that was composed for Coppelia. Sadly, it isnt so.
Lovers of Coppelia like me, as it existed so far, with the original music composed for it, and the promise of a beautiful light hearted fare would be in for a surprise, and not really a pleasant one.
The PROs are
1. The Prima Ballerina who dances Swanilda, is perhaps the one to be most watched out for, after the likes of Aurelie Dupont. She is not only beautiful, but sensuous and an exquisite dancer, and a winner on stage for the next decade or more.
2. One of the best expositions by Martinez that I have seen, His flair, genious and expertise come out very well in this production, far better than most I have seen of him.
3. The choreography is brilliant. The director seems to be able to achieve whatever he set out to do, whether you agree with him or not
4. The music is conducted and played wonderfully.
The CON's are
1. This is not Coppelia as most of us know it...
2. Too much of music from other compositions of Delibes has been incorporated, destroying the fabric of what Coppelia in its score as we know it.
Would I recommend it?
YES..YESS Buy it.
It gives you a totally new ballet. Just forget what Coppelia was about till now.
But if given the choice of Coppelia's in the market, I would still dive for the Ronald Petit production of this.
Till another Blu ray disc of Coppelia comes along, enjoy this one...