Corpo Dance Company | Links Hall at Constellation | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Coppelius

Coppelius

Eric Doxtator

When: Fri., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., Sat., Dec. 18, 8 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 19, 7 p.m. 2010
Price: $12-$18
The intimate, idiosyncratic Links Hall space gets transformed into a mad toymaker's workshop in Coppelius, Christopher McCray's cockeyed take on the 1870 comic ballet Coppelia. Where the original work focuses on Swanhilde, a young woman whose boyfriend has fallen for a lifelike clockwork doll built by Dr. Coppelius, Corpo artistic director McCray puts the inventor himself at the center of things. Coppelius is surrounded by and obsessed with his herky-jerky creations until a sweet young human female turns up. Nervously acting half man, half machine, and complete nerd, he mechanically hands the girl a mechanical flower and totally turns her off. She's attracted only to the fabulous dolls--particularly a certain tall, blond, handsome one. Most of the interest of the first act lies in seeing the dolls shiver and click into action, eyes fixed and glassy; Christopher Courtney's Coppelius doesn't have much to do except haul them in and out of closets. But in the second act, when Coppelius meets and loses his ladylove, the story kicks into gear and Courtney blossoms comically. The show is family-friendly, unless you object to a funny bit about Coppelius drowning his sorrows. --Laura Molzahn

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