Passions and Obsessions

Ballet Philippines opens 54th Season with ‘Coppelia’

‘Now, it’s time for a romantic comedy,’ says artistic director Misha Martynyuk

Jemima Reyes as Swanhilda

Ian Ocampo as Franz

Ballet Philippines opens its new season August 4, 2023. The theme, “Power of Dance,” promises to be filled with classic and modern productions. For Christmas, we will be performing Christmas Fairytales, which will give audiences a look into how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world,” says Kathleen Liechtenstein, Ballet Philippines president. “For our season-ender, I am excited to present Limang Daan, an original Filipiniana piece by Ballet Philippines that first debuted online during the pandemic. It will be a full-length theater performance that will transport audiences as far back as 500 years ago.”

On August 4, the company will debut Coppelia. The synopsis states, “Professor Coppelius’ daughter, Coppelia, is a mystery to everyone in their small town. She sits on the balcony all day with her books. Coppelia also never speaks to anyone, which intrigues everyone in the neighborhood. The heroine, Swanhilda, joins a group of girls in the town square. Here, they find the key to Coppelius’ home. After much persuasion, Swanhilda agrees to try to discover the truth about the mysterious Coppelia.”


Coppelia Poster

Mikhail “Misha” Martynyuk, Ballet Philippines artistic director, says, “I love the details of this ballet very much. I added to and changed the mime scene slightly and added humor. I also added the first scene after the overture, because I think the audience should first be introduced to one of the story’s main characters, Dr. Coppelius.”

Ballet Philippines President Kathleen Liecthtenstein and Artistic Director Mikhail Misha Martynyuk

According to Martynyuk, the last time Ballet Philippines staged Coppelia was in 2008. “It was the previous generation. Now, we have new methods, adapted choreography, dancers, costumes, and scenery.” Liechtenstein says that the themes of Coppelia are very relatable to audiences. “Despite so much going on around us—all the news and information we get at the speed of light from our smartphones—there are times when we long for the affection and companionship of real people. These themes and a wonderful love story are the right topics for our season opener.”

Liechtenstein believes that Coppelia will be an uplifting and inspiring experience that families can share at the theater. Martynuk says that Ballet Philippines’ dancers all worked hard to stage Coppelia. “Absolutely everyone is amazing! It’s a new style for them. The task of the dancers in any new performance is to catch the dance style and, in this role, to create a libretto based on unique characters. As the dancers do it, they make the performance come alive!”



Ballet Philippines has shown its audiences everything from gala concerts to real stories, fairy tales, and mythology. Martynuk states, “Now it’s time for a romantic comedy!”

The cast of Ballet Philippines’ Coppelia

Coppelia will be performed at The Theatre at Solaire on August 4-6. Find out more at

About author


She was fashion editor of Mega and Metro magazines, in different stints, and former editor in chief of Metro style. She also wrote for Philippine Daily Inquirer for a decade. She lived and worked in Paris for eight years, writing for international publications, and worked as copywriter for Louis Vuitton Paris. Now based in Manila, she has a content marketing and copywriting firm. She continues to write about luxury and fashion.

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