Fairchild is an endearingly spunky Swanhilda, and De Luz imbues the role of Frantz—played in 1870 by a woman in drag—with an impish and zesty masculinity. Old Dr. Coppelius isn’t an easy role. Robert La Fosse does a magnificent job of portraying his crankiness, but he also shows us a man sadly deluded by his own power. His delight when the doll he made appears to come to life (Swanhilda puts on Coppelia’s dress and replaces her in her chair) suggests a love a bit more lecherous than that of a father for a daughter. He and Fairchild convey both the comedy and the pathos of the scene in which she dances mischievously for him while he pants and hobbles around, reaching out for this miraculous beauty.

New York City Ballet in Douglas Lee’s "Lifecasting"
Paul Kolnik
New York City Ballet in Douglas Lee’s "Lifecasting"


New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center
January 6 through March 1

Two of the season’s 14 programs have more performances this week, eight are still to come. What a city that has such treasures in it!

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