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Roger Van Fleteren’s Coppelia Act III Comes to Life at Spring Performance


Roger Van Fleteren's Coppelia Act III Comes to Life at Spring Performance

May 17, 2017

In May, Ballet Academy East will feature one of Roger Van Fleteren’s choreographic works in its Spring Performance. Roger Van Fleteren is Alabama Ballet’s Associate Artistic Director and BAE guest choreographer. Van Fleteren started his ballet training at age 12, so he’s acutely aware of the importance of performance in a student’s dance education.

For BAE’s Spring Performance, he choreographed Coppélia Act III after Arthur Saint-Léon with music by Léo Delibes. Act III is the joyful wedding celebration.

Van Feleteren believes this act from one of the great comedic ballets provides students with the opportunity to showcase both their technical and dramatic talents. “When I was a ballet student, I relished the opportunity to try different roles that not only challenged my dancing abilities but also pushed me to be a better actor,” he recalls. “It’s so important for students to connect to the passion of dance and communicate the story behind a ballet.”

One of my favorite memories is playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet where I learned that it takes more to be a dancer than mastering the many ballet movements and positions. Dancing is also about communicating emotion and drawing an audience into the story playing out on stage,” says Van Fleteren.

This performance features a cast of forty-two dancers in roles from Franz and Swanilda’s friends to Festival and Work Dancers. In preparing the students to perform Coppélia Act III, Van Fleteren focused on helping them express the feelings associated with a joyous occasion and conveying that joy to audience members.

As a bonus, he was able to procure Coppéliasets and costumes from London designed by Peter Farmer.

This is an exciting opportunity for both students and audience members to experience a superbly produced performance.