Cinema: Turnoff for Ballet

Childhood Productions, specialists in the tacky packaging of grim fairy tales for the kiddie film market, is inching up in the world. Not many inches, though. Dr.?? Coppelius!!. Childhood's version of the venerable ballet Coppélia, has Walter Slezak as an actor and Dame Alicia Markova as a consultant, but it still seems calculated, as far as ballet is concerned, to turn young audiences off.

The story—one of 19th century Romanticist E.T.A. Hoffmann's famous tales—is the one about a guy (Franz) and a doll (Coppélia). Coppelia is the handicraft of a sinister genius of a...

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