KAILUA-KONA — West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s Mako Yamamoto and Enna Hendrickson have one final spring production before they can jet off to the next chapters in their lives — university — and they want to make this one count.
As the graduating seniors of West Hawaii Dance Theatre, Yamamoto and Hendrickson had the privilege of selecting their final ballet with the company, and it’s one that holds emotional weight for the two dancers.
“It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s fun for me, because my first performance was actually ‘Coppelia,’ so it’s coming full circle,” Hendrickson said. “It’s really fun to see the younger kids in my place, where I first came in.”
West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s production of “Coppelia” will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. The classical, comedic ballet stars Yamamoto and Hendrickson as Swanhilda and Coppelia.
“I think it’s a very theatrical, fun ballet,” Yamamoto said. “Because a lot of ballets are dark, we thought it would be good for kids and it’s a nice family ballet.”
“Coppelia” tells the story of Swanhilda and her fiance, Franz, who falls for the lifelike doll Coppelia, created by the toymaker Dr. Coppelius. Comedic misadventures ensue when Swanhilda breaks into the shop to confront Coppelia and discovers she is not a real woman. Dr. Coppelius is then tricked into thinking his doll has come to life.
“I think my favorite part is just the amount of acting that we get to do, because that’s not incorporated into all ballets, but this one was a really fun one for that,” Hendrickson said.
The choreography for the production was constructed by artistic director Virginia Holte, assistant director Midori Satoh, instructor Jenna Ojeda, Megan Joy Chapman and Ann Marie Pargett.
The music will be performed by a live orchestra, the newly created West Hawaii Dance Theatre Orchestra, under the musical direction of conductor Brian Dollinger.
“Coppelia” also stars West Hawaii Dance Theatre’s Andrew Fung as Franz and guest professional dancer Timour Bourtasenkov as Dr. Coppelius, as well as the more than 70 dancers currently enrolled at West Hawaii Dance Theatre.
West Hawaii Dance Theatre dancer Alexis Pargett, who has multiple parts in “Coppelia,” is also headed for big things this summer after the curtains close. She received a scholarship with the Houston Ballet in Texas.
“My program is a six-week program, and it’s an intensive that includes different styles of dance but it mainly focuses on ballet,” Pargett said. “I went to San Francisco to audition for different programs for the summer and Houston offered me a house scholarship.”
Fung has also received a scholarship for the summer, for a four-week dance program with the National Ballet of Canada.
“I used to live in Canada, so I’m just excited to be back in the community and the area,” Fung said.
Before he can leave Hawaii for his prestigious scholarship, Fung still has “Coppelia” to add to his repertoire. Fung said being able to dance in the show is an exciting challenge for him.
“It’s different because it’s like nothing I’ve done before,” Fung said. “It’s a different plot and I had never actually seen ‘Coppelia’ before this. And my part I like because there’s more acting in it, and that’s exciting.”
Info: Tickets to “Coppelia” at 5 p.m. Saturday are $49/$39/$29 and can be purchased at kahilutheatre.org.