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Coppélia!

The little workshop that became a not-so-little ballet!

When things are “normal, at this time of year International Ballet Exchange presents a fully staged story ballet to an audience of about 1,500 Philadelphia school students. The cast of more than 100 would include students in our school program, along with youth artists from Wissahickon Dance Academy, and guest professionals, dancing on a large stage in a school auditorium filled to capacity.

With that kind of performance impossible this year, we decided to offer a little virtual workshop for youth and adult dancers from the region to engage in their art and enjoy being part of creating some dances from the ballet Coppélia.

Then one thing led to another . . . and over six weeks our little workshop became a not-so-little ballet with a diverse, multigenerational cast of 38. Students from our program for the Philadelphia public schools, youth artists from WDA, artists from the community, and even guest professionals danced virtually for their friends and families, teachers, and school peers on May 16. Our “stage”? Our homes, streets, schools, back yards, and nearby cultural sites.

IBE’s virtual Coppélia is emblematic of what so many people have experienced over the past year as we have improvised, found new “stages,” learned new ways of working, and created community in new ways.

Whether you are just meeting IBE for the first time or are a long-time supporter, your gift to IBE will help us continue to find creative ways to teach and perform during this challenging time.

See the program book here. 

Hear some of the beautiful music from the ballet as played for us on WRTI: Classical Archive: Classical At Your Request | WRTI  (choose " At Your Request " for 5/19/21 and pick up the program at 1::52)