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Swan and Franz enjoying milkshakes in GREAT PERFORMANCES "Coppelia."
Courtesy of Urban Distribution Intl
Swan and Franz enjoying milkshakes in GREAT PERFORMANCES "Coppelia."

Premieres Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Based on a 2008 stage production by Dutch National Ballet, GREAT PERFORMANCES “Coppelia” is a contemporary reboot for the digital age that sees Doctor Coppelius as a sinister cosmetic surgeon whose quest to build the perfect robot woman threatens the romance — and then the very lives — of young lovers Swan and Franz.


With everyone falling under the surgeon’s spell, Swan must act to save her sweetheart before his heart is used to spark life into Doctor Coppelius’ creation: Coppelia. A modern fairytale for the whole family, this new interpretation features an innovative blend of live action ballet with 2D and 3D animation.

Great Performances
Courtesy of Urban Distribution Intl
Coppelia and Doctor Coppelius in GREAT PERFORMANCES "Coppelia."

"Coppelia" features international ballet stars Michaela DePrince as Swan, Daniel Camargo as Franz, Darcey Bussell as the Mayor and Irek Mukhamedov as Baker, with new music by Emmy Award nominee Maurizio Malagnini, choreography by Ted Brandsen.

The broadcast is part of #PBSForTheArts, a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America.

Swan's Dream Ballet with Franz in "Coppelia"

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Based on two stories by E.T.A. Hoffman, "Coppelia" made its debut as a comic ballet in 1870, featuring a score by Leo Delibes and original choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon.
  • Though based on a 2008 Dutch National Ballet production, new choreography by Ted Brandsen in collaboration with Dutch National Ballet dancers and cast members was created for the film to go with the animation.
  • With animation by 3 minutes West, Submarine, MotionWorks and Lunanime, directors Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur conceived the film as a hybrid between dance and animation with the animation propelling audiences into a fantasy world with 3D characters representing the superficial.
Coppelia and Swan in GREAT PERFORMANCES "Coppelia."
Courtesy of Urban Distribution Intl
Coppelia and Swan in GREAT PERFORMANCES "Coppelia."

Watch On Your Schedule:

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Coppelia” premieres Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 on PBS, and the PBS Video app.

Extend your viewing window with KPBS Passport, a benefit for members supporting KPBS at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.


Directed by Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur and produced by Bruno Felix, Adrienne Liron, Janneke van de Kerkhof and Femke Wolting, A Submarine Amsterdam and 3 Minutes West production in co-production with MotionWorks and Lunanime, AVROTROS, and MDR/Arte in association with BBC and The WNET Group. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

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