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Building Ballet expands school outreach

March 26, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
A scene from "Coppelia" is shown in an undated handout photo from Hot Springs Children's Dance Theatre. - Submitted photo

Building Ballet, an arts and educational outreach program accompanying the Hot Springs Children's Dance Theatre productions, was created to increase the number of young people exposed to classical ballet and music.

The company recently announced it will expand its school outreach this May by introducing a school performance at a new venue, the Woodlands Auditorium, 1101 DeSoto Blvd., in Hot Springs Village.

The performance will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 25, a week after the Hot Springs school performance at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, at LakePointe Church, 1343 Albert Pike.

"The ballet chosen for the spring show is 'Coppélia,' the greatest comedic ballet of the romantic era," a news release said.

Building Ballet "aims to broaden an education in the arts, nurture a lifelong love of the creative process in all its forms and demonstrate the enjoyment this passion may bring to young lives. This innovative program includes talks and handouts on the historical and cultural significance of ballet and its relevance to today's audiences," the release said.

"It will walk the audience through the creation and production of a classical ballet, from the choreography to the design of the sets and the theater lighting. It will also include dance performances by the company's gifted artists," it said.

Presented by Artistic Director Edmond Cooper and the dancers of HSCDTC, the program is made available in part by the support of the Hot Springs Community Foundation.

The main characters in "Coppélia" include "Swanhilda and Franz who are engaged to be married, Dr. Coppelius, a strange and mysterious town toymaker, and Coppélia, a beautiful life-size doll created by Dr. Coppelius. Because she looks so lifelike, the people in the village believe she is. Franz develops conflicting thoughts about who he likes more: his fiancee Swanhilda, or the enchanting Coppelia. Swanhilda, realizing that Franz has second thoughts about their engagement, decides to sneak into Dr. Coppelius' house and get to the bottom of the mystery of this life-size figure bewitching her fiance. She poses as Coppélia and this is where all the fun begins," the release said.

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