Jazz Festival sizzles; Bobby Short sparkles; 'Coppelia' wobbles; Coppelia
The Boston Ballet's production of ''Coppelia'' at the Colonial, like the ''doll'' who's brought to life by degrees, is still in various stages of waking up.
Coppelia, a doll, is so lifelike that when set in a window ''reading'' a book she draws the interest of Franz. Swanilda, Franz's fiancee, sneaks into the workshop to see who her rival is. Discovering she's merely a doll, she dresses as Coppelia and fools the toymaker into thinking his magic potions have brought her to life. The deception is forgiven at the lovers' marriage.
Marie-Christine Mouis, as Swanilda/Coppelia, has a limpid grace, great musicality, and extensions that go an extra notch. One of her best moments is when she recaptivates a wandering Franz with a commanding solo. As Franz, Donn Edwards sparkles with boyish wit. His leaps, twisting his legs around him in midair, were snappily executed.
There are many opportunities for a variety of dance: the jerky movements of the other toys, a Scottish doll's Highland fling, a mazurka. All are places to cut loose from the measured grace of ballet and show some ethnic fire. Unfortunately, the dancers were pretty earthbound, as well as unrehearsed and shaky. It's a charming, sometimes witty show but needs more practice and pizzazz.