Boston Ballet’s Melissa Hough first caught my attention at this time last year when she danced the part of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. Tonight, I had the pleasure of seeing her in the title role of the ballet’s current production, Coppélia.
Her dancing was beautiful, elegant, and precise; her acting emotional and engaging; and her smile addictive. She made the show. And that’s saying an awful lot, given the talent and character of everyone on stage, in the orchestra, and behind the scenes of this performance.
Coppélia is the story of a girl, Swanhilde, who loves a boy who finds himself flirting from afar with someone else — someone who turns out to be just a life-sized doll atop the balcony of a toymaker’s workshop. Swanhilde (Hough) sneaks into the workshop, puts on the doll’s clothes, and simultaneously tricks the poor dollmaker into thinking his beloved creation has come to life while showing her beau how foolish he was to think the doll was a real girl.
The story is delightful and Boston Ballet tells it perfectly with beautiful sets and costumes, devine music, and most importantly, the best dancing this side of imagination. This was one of the best performances I’ve seen of any sort in quite some time.
Coppélia continues through April 18. I suggest you try it yourself.