Tell me a story.
For a story ballet to hit home, you need two things: a good plot and a lead couple who can make you care about what happens next. American Ballet Theatre's Coppelia, with Irina Dvorovenko as Swanilda and Maxim Beloserkovsy as Franz, performed during their spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House, fills the bill. After the end of Act I, when Swanilda and her friends sneak into Dr. Coppelius' house, followed by the doddering Dr. Coppelius, and the brazen Franz climbing into a window by ladder, you really wonder how the story will unfold. Exactly how Swanilda deceives the old man in the next act was an expert mixture of comic timing, hyper-curiosity, and conniving wit. And Beloserkovsky was Dvorovenko's equal in mischief. In the end, the peace they made with each other and with the old man was warmly deserved. Not surprisingly, the audience met their curtain calls with screams of appreciation.