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True love, and a miniature horse: Coppélia at the NAC

The National Arts Centre strives to be a catalyst for performance, creation and learning. Part of that last piece – learning – means we are passionate about helping build the audiences of the future by programming performances that the whole family can enjoy.

That’s why we are delighted to present Pennsylvania Ballet's Coppélia to the NAC. As legendary choreographer George Balanchine once said, “Just as Giselle is ballet’s great tragedy, so Coppélia is its great comedy.”

One of the world's most beloved story ballets, Coppélia is a lighthearted comedic romp that sparkles with wit and charm. Featuring a voluptuous score by Léo Delibes, a flirty, feisty heroine, and a capricious romance, Coppélia gives families and their young would-be ballerinas a delightful treat.

True love and .... a miniature horse?

Pennsylvania principal dancers Lauren Fadeley and Francis Veyette are married in real life. They first met as students at Pennsylvania Ballet’s school when they were paired for a photo shoot, and reconnected as adults when Ms. Fadeley joined the Company in 2007. The real-life couple will be “married” again on stage in Coppélia at the conclusion of the third act.

Presenting the newly married couple in an elaborate carriage will be audience favourite “Jill” – a live miniature horse.

For the NAC performances, Jill will be on loan from Ottawa’s John Crundell Stables, which began operating in the late 1800s and are now over 115 years old.

We asked Charles Cotton, Technical Director at the NAC, a few questions about the guest star.

How will the mini horse get into the NAC?

CC: Via the loading dock, up the workshop ramp.

Will the mini horse stay at the NAC?

CC: No, the stable is close enough that she’ll go home every night.

When was the last time an NAC production used a live animal?

CC: The last time was ducks in a magic show with the NAC Orchestra about four years ago.

Where will the mini horse stay at the NAC?

CC: Most likely in the loading dock.

What will the mini horse be doing in the production?

CC: I’ve only seen the promo picture, so I assume she’ll just be pulling the cart, led by one of the dancers.

Any issues that you anticipate? Stagefright?

CC: I’m told she’s pretty relaxed, but who knows? I just hope she doesn’t pee. Manure is a lot easier to deal with!

No babysitter needed! The whole family will love the ballet Coppélia. Find out more.


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