Delightful Comedy Ballet “Coppelia” Comes to Fleming’s New Auditorium

Abby Bagliani plays the role of “Swanilda.”

William Fleming High School’s brand new state-of-the-art auditorium will be hosting Southwest Virginia Ballet’s presentation of “Coppelia” – a delightful comedy ballet that appeals to audiences of all ages—this weekend, on March 27 and 28, with show times of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  This lighthearted and funny ballet is one that both young people and their parents will love.

It is a story about a beautiful young girl, Swanilda; her fiancé, Franz; the doll-maker, Dr. Coppelius; and the doll, Coppelia. The setting is in a European Village in the late 1800’s.  When Franz mistakenly believes the doll (Coppelia) he sees on a balcony is a real lady, and becomes enamored with her, his real-life betrothed Swanilda backs out of the wedding. The ensuing events are delightfully amusing, along with the compelling scenes in which Dr. Coppelius and his amazing wind-up dolls take the stage.

Combining the talents and enthusiasm of SVB’s pre-professional dancers, under the artistic direction of Pedro Szalay, with E.T.A. Hoffman’s enthralling tale and endearing characters, equals a caboodle of fun for everyone and perfect family entertainment.

Abigail Bagliani will be dancing the part of Swanilda – the lead role in Coppelia. Abby attends Roanoke Catholic High School and dances with Southwest Virginia Ballet, something she has been dedicated to for many years. She recently wrote a short essay for a school project which conveys her perspective on dance and how it has impacted her life.

In the essay Abby addresses the question of why she dances…finding the answer to be elusive because dance is so much a part of her life that the answer is both simple and complex. Her love of dance and dedication comes through as she describes how she dances “every day of my life, and thoughts of dance never leave me.” She has missed many of the traditional high school events because of dance, and while this is a sacrifice, it is one she willingly makes.

She concludes by saying that “…dance is inexpressible. [It] reveals itself in almost all aspects of my life, and because of this impact I am at a loss of words.” When people ask her “Abigail, why do you dance,” she answers, “I cannot explain it, but I will show you.” Her testimony is probably best understood by seeing her dance, which audiences will have the chance to do in the upcoming “Coppelia.”

Southwest Virginia Ballet will also be providing a free daytime performance of Coppelia on Friday, March 26, for over 400 area students. Part of SVB’s mission is to make the performing arts available to people of all ages, from all walks of life; last year they donated over 800 performance tickets to students, teachers, civic organizations and those who otherwise could not afford to attend.

The SVB is recognized nationally for excellence in dance instruction and productions; its alumna are teaching and dancing professionally around the world.

Visit for more information and for tickets to “Coppelia” which are $8 – $15.

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