Ballet is returning to Brainerd, when the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center at Central Lakes College presents the Continental Ballet Company’s production of Coppelia. Two performances are scheduled at 1 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of CLC.
Continental Ballet Company is a professional touring company based in Bloomington Minnesota. The company is recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. and has been placed on their Roster of Approved Artists, The Founder/Director is Riet Velthusien, a native of Holland.
Coppelia is the story of a doll-maker who tries to bring a beautiful doll to life. Dr. Coppélius is a doctor who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his true heart’s desire, Swanhilda. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor. This ballet mixes razor-sharp story-mime with bravura classical dance. It is a wonderful ballet for families and people of all ages.
“We presented the Continental Ballet Company as part of our Series last September,” says Patrick Spradlin, the director of the Center. “Their performance of Cinderella sold out as soon as it was announced. We added a second show, a matinee, and sold it out as well. We thought that ballet might be a risky venture for us, but we were clearly proven wrong.
Spradlin says he chose Continental for several reasons. “First, they’re Minnesota-based. And they have a mission of reaching young people through the arts that is also part of our mission. And, their performances last year were met with such enthusiasm.”
Continental Ballet Company was founded in 1988 by Riet Velthuisen. Riet has danced professionally with several European ballet companies, including the Dutch National Ballet. Riet studied classical ballet in Amsterdam, The Hague and Paris. The Continental Ballet Company is a member of the Bloomington Fine Arts Council and resides at the Bloomington Center for the Arts. The performers are professional dancers and can include as many as 30 dancers for a single production. In addition to the performing company, Continental Ballet Company operates a studio of ballet offering dance lessons for students of all ages and abilities. Their web site is www.continentalballet.com
Tickets for Coppelia are available from the CLC box office at 855-8199, or online at www.clcmn.edu/arts
This show is sponsored by Essentia Health. The entire CLC Performing Arts Center season is made possible in part by an operating grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.