Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tuscaloosa Community Dancers show ‘Coppelia’

Six months worth of long hours of rehearsal, costume fittings, critiques and technique classes will finally culminate for the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers April 12-14 when they put on their spring production, “Coppelia.”

“Coppelia is a light-hearted and fun comedy that appeals to all audiences,” Amy Cole Ahmed, interim artistic director for TCD, said. “It’s not a heavy show, and it’s very entertaining and would be a great show to introduce children to ballet.”

Betty Quarles, executive director of TCD, said it was for this reason “Coppelia” was selected as TCD’s spring performance.

“It’s a family friendly piece and comedy,” Quarles said. “We tried to stay true to the story line, and it’s a very entertaining ballet, and it’s fun to do. I think a 90-year-old would enjoy it, as well as a 6-year-old.”

Quarles said that “Coppelia” has been performed by local dance schools for their recital, but TCD’s standard for their show is a little higher than that of a recital performance.

“The purpose of a recital is to showcase what students have learned, but because this is a paid performance and we consider this to be a pre-professional company, the standard is a little higher,” Quarles said.

TCD is comprised of 19 company members, and the production of “Coppelia” will include all 19 of these dancers, in addition to four guest artists, and about 30 total members in the production, including children in the Tuscaloosa community as young as 7 years old and dancers from the University.

Jennifer Quarles, a former member of TCD and current Druid Arts Home Grown artist, will be playing Swanilda.

“Tuscaloosa Community Dancers has been a part of my life for 22 years, and I am so excited to continue to dance with them,” Jennifer Quarles said. “I think it’s so important to bring the dance community together and show how talented these dancers are in Tuscaloosa. I’m so proud to be from Tuscaloosa and hope to continue the tradition of TCD for a long time.”

Performing alongside Jennifer Quarles will be Kyle Seguin, who will be dancing the role of Franz. The two have been longtime partners, having formerly danced at the Alabama Ballet together.

“This is a double reunion, because I get to dance in my hometown with TCD and my best friend and past-partner at the Alabama Ballet,” Jennifer Quarles said.

Betty Quarles said the duo makes for quite a pair.

“Jennifer loves us because she started here and gives us a whole lot more than she would give some other random company she’s guesting for,” Betty Quarles said. “Jennifer and Kyle have not performed together in three seasons, so it’s a homecoming for them. They’re Tuscaloosa’s favorite couple on stage.”

In addition to the two local guest artists, the cast will be joined by Patrick Wilson dancing the Mazurka Lead and Didier Bramaz dancing the role of Dr. Coppelius.

Jennifer Quarles and Bramaz met through dance; he volunteered to be part of the production when he heard about Quarles coming home to dance with her former company.

“He’s an excellent dancer,” Betty Quarles said. “We never dreamed we could have someone of his stature do this, and we feel extremely fortunate and happy.”

Quarles said she feels it’s important for TCD to continue to bring in high-caliber guest artists because of the positive impact it has on the younger dancers.

“We have had wonderful guest artists who were highly skilled with their craft and interacted with the children,” Quarles said. “It’s a learning process for our children to share the stage with professionals.”

Quarles said that this not only gives the children an up-close and personal look as to what goes behind the scenes but also elevates the level of the performance.

“Coppelia” will be performed at the Bama Theatre April 12-14. Friday, the show will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students and children, $21 for adults and $17 for seniors 60+ and can be purchased at the box office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or can be purchased at the door.

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