Ballet Etoiles at West Chester Academy to present ‘Coppélia’

Ballet Etoiles at West Chester Academy will present “Coppélia” as part of its seventh show season in June.

Savannah Owen, Ballet Etoiles director and ballet department leader at West Chester Academy, said “Coppélia” is a bright and whimsical ballet featuring a comedic storyline that is artistically portrayed by the academy’s ballet dancers. The show will also feature guest artist Patrick Lennon, from the Dayton Ballet, who will play the role of Franz.

Owen said the show allowed them to do a story not everyone knows.

“So, we started gaining momentum with common story themes that everybody knows like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Little Mermaid,’ but this was the first year we could do a true story ballet,” she said. “It’s a super fun story, and it’s pretty entertaining.”

While there’s beautiful, graceful dancing, there is also some comedic moments, which is a fun and engaging way to introduce your first true ballet story to an audience, she said.

“This is a good fit for our company, because in this ballet, we have students ranging from 6 years old through seniors in high school. I always want to make sure we are producing a story that is, first of all, very family-friendly, and entertaining to all of those ages that are participating,” Owen said.

She said the participating dancers have been dedicated to the production since December. Auditions were held, and the students were informed of their roles in December. Since then, the students have been working nearly every weekend on preparing for the performance. There are about 70 dancers involved in “Coppélia.”

“It’s exciting for everybody. It’s so worth all of their efforts,” Owen said.

It is a story about a dancing doll. Performing the role of “Coppélia” is dancer Andrea Portillo who joined the ballet performance group in 2018. Samantha Rajauskas plays the principal role of “Swanhilda,” and she has been in the ballet performance group since 2017. She was in the first performance, and is a high school senior who is graduating this month. The role of Dr. Coppélius is played by Matthew Owen, who is trained in ballroom dance and has experience as an actor.

Ballet Etoiles, which means ballet stars, began in 2017 with nine students. The program for students ages six and up expanded in 2019, and Ballet Etoiles has grown to more than 70 ballet students. West Chester Academy, owned by Patsy Rabinowitz, specializes in teaching the arts, including music, dance and gymnastics.

How to go

What: Ballet Etoiles to present “Coppélia”

When: June 2, showtimes of 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Where: Fairfield Freshman Auditorium, 8790 N Gilmore Rd., in Fairfield.

Cost: Tickets for adults/children, ages 10 and over, for standard seating are $22; and tickets for children ages 3 to 9 are $12. A limited number of premium seating is available. Premium tickets are $32 for adults, ages 10 and over, and $22 for children ages 3 to 9. (Plus, applicable online ticketing fees.) Children under the age of 3, sitting on a lap, are free. To purchase tickets, go to

More information: The performance runs about an hour-and-a-half. There are three acts with two intermissions.

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