A tight turnaround of WA ballet with Coppelia in His Majesty’s theater

The 2021 season of WA Ballet presented principal Matt Lehmann with two unfinished jobs after his performance was interrupted by an injury on the eve of two previously programmed ballets.

Gisele first ruptured the plantar fascia of the foot, curled the ankle and tore the ligaments, and then Coppelia was not replaced by another major male character, Franz, but only the character-based Dr. Coppelia. Limited to.

“I hurt myself a week before the store opened,” explains Lehman.

“It’s frustrating to do all the work in the rehearsal and curl your ankles after the 11th hour. It’s like playing football throughout the season and getting injured just before the Grand Finals.

“So it gave me a good mental urge to get over Dracula’s health.”

As the title character, Lehman loved every moment of the Dracula season at Crown Theater Perth in August and introduced a new audience to his award-winning WA ballet work premiered at His Majesty’s Theater in 2018.

Camera iconPhotographs of Matthew Lehmann as Dr. Coppelia and Carina Roberts as Coppelia in WA Ballet Coppelia.Ross Swan Borrow credit: Ross Swan Borrow

Lehman says it’s the shortest turnaround he’s experienced in his career, starting training at Ballet Theater Australia and the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne after being raised by ballroom dance parents.

After playing at the Alberta Ballet in Canada, he participated in the WA Ballet in 2010, and Artistic Director Aurelian Scannera was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2013.

“It doesn’t take two weeks to rehearse, but I’ve rehearsed this ballet before, so it’s helpful to have it somewhere behind my head,” says Lehman.

“It’s like singing to a song you haven’t heard in 10 years and knowing the language. For those who danced the lead in Dracula, the fitness of the match is already in place, making the transition easier. rice field.

“After a break, it takes a certain amount of time to build the right fitness. My general rule of thumb is the length of the break. Come back and regain yourself with your strength and stamina. It takes a long time to feel like. “

Coppelia, choreographed by Greg Horseman, makes the classical ballet classic, set in the small town of Hahndorf in South Australia in the late 19th century, set in an Australian rules football game, modern and familiar.

On the surface, it may look like a light and cute ballet about German settlers arriving in Adelaide, but Essendon’s supporter Lehmann also has a dark and emotional side to the work. Say there is.

“Dr. Coppellius is a broken man after his daughter died on a trip to Australia and made a doll as part of the process of sadness,” he says.

A photo of Matthew Lehmann as Dr. Coppelia in the WA Ballet Coppelia.Ross Swan Borrow
Camera iconA photo of Matthew Lehmann as Dr. Coppelia in the WA Ballet Coppelia.Ross Swan Borrow credit: Ross Swan Borrow

“It’s suitable for having lots of acting and tongue-biting moments, like a family or a little pantomime. Participating in ballet, such as a man hitting a ball or making children smirk,” means There is something that is not. “

In alternating performances, Lehman exchanges between Dr. Coppellius and Swanilda’s lover Franz. Franz is obsessed with the mysterious “daughter” of the doctor.

“They play a very different role and Dr. Coppellius needs a lot of acting on stage. This is what I love. That’s one of the reasons I dance,” he says. “My favorite ballet is the ballet I can act on and get into the story, and Franz is the classic role you’ve been dancing to.”

Life has changed immeasurably since Lehman’s last rehearsal of Coppelia in 2015. He and his wife, Alex, welcomed their son Banks to the world 11 months ago through a long and difficult IVF process.

“People thought it was a baby with COVID, but this has been working for quite some time,” he reveals.

“My wife loved the name Banks, but I was worried that it wouldn’t be cool enough for us to give him that name. It took a few days at the hospital until we decided to be those cool people. “

Recently, Lehman’s schedule begins with a seven-and-a-half-hour break in the studio between a morning ballet class and a rehearsal before leaving at 6 pm, feeding the bank and preparing a bed.

Sunday is a swimming lesson for my father and son. Lehman says parents soak their children in water and drown them for about 30 minutes.

“He loves it and thinks it’s the best time,” he laughs.

“On my first official Father’s Day, I went to Florito in search of fish and chips and took out a picnic rug. He wandered and in his mouth as they did. I stabbed everything. He turned out to be a terrific little guy. “

Lehman says paternity saw him approach Dr. Coppellius’s role this time differently, but he tries to attack the role returned from another angle, but the 36-year-old still has no plans. It happens for a while to retire.

“It’s personal, but for dancers and elite athletes, when they reach the mark above 30, they start to ask what’s going on with their old body,” he says.

“I’m still dancing and I love it.

“We have a sleeping beauty before Christmas. This is another three-act mountain of ballet. When Coppelia is over, we will take a break from Sunday and return to the studio on Monday. Another day, another. Ballet. “

The WA Ballet Coppelia will be in His Majesty’s Theater from September 16th to 25th.

A tight turnaround of WA ballet with Coppelia in His Majesty’s theater

Source link A tight turnaround of WA ballet with Coppelia in His Majesty’s theater

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