She's a doll. He's her rather sinister creator. Thus begins the delicious ballet Coppelia, and the almost-downfall of young Franz, who mistakes Coppelia for a (perhaps more perfect) version of his fiancée, Swanilda. The Continental Ballet Company, a local treasure directed by Riet Velthuisen since 1988, gives this perennially popular ballet a lively production. In recent years, CBC has seen an influx of professional dancers who have moved here, attracted by the company's classical aesthetic. Velthuisen's versions of the classics infuse them with vitality and wit, and ensembles mix Russian trained dancers like Tatiana Berenova and Pavel Homko with well-known locals from companies like Ballet of the Dolls (Ted Southern) and the Third Rabbit Ensemble (John Munger). Munger is a first-rate character dancer who will reprise the role of the doll maker Dr. Coppelius that he created for CBC 17 years ago. Expect an older, wiser, and more devious Dr. C. Aside from its entertainment value, Coppelia is a great way to show the kids how a clever young girl in the 19th century finessed a Barbie doll by using her wit, charm, and gray matter that wasn't just a tiara.
Fri., April 4, 7:30 p.m.; April 5-6, 3 p.m., 2008