I watched a performance of a newly choreographed Coppelia by the National Ballet of China tonight. In my opinion, it's much better than the original version (even though the variations had been cut out), in terms of the dancing, costumes, and scenery. I would tell you who the choreographer, set/costume designer, etc., are, but their names have been translated into Chinese. <BR>The ballerina who danced the role of Swanilda had won a gold medal at an international ballet competition, and she was beautiful! She had gorgeous feet and solid fouettes, but she also played the part of the "jilted lover" quite well! Franz was so-so - he was lacking a feeling of lightness in his jumps, and couldn't seem to find his center for his pirouettes. However, I liked his acting as well. My favorite was Coppelius - he's pictured as a younger man in this version, because he needs to have a lot of strength for partnering Coppelia and the firebird (there were tin men, the firebird, and a bee pas de deux instead of the Spanish dance, etc.). I loved his acting - he was really believable! There was this clever bit in the prologue of the ballet: A guy dressed in black stood behind Coppelia, who was in the spotlight. Coppelius stood above her, and had those puppet crosses in his hands, jerking them as if to move Coppelia. The guy in black lifted and dropped Coppelia accordingly, and it produced a frighteningly real effect!<BR>Just to let you guys know the existence of such a ballet!