Leo Delibes


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The lowest placed ballet in the Ultimate Hall of Fame, and the first of 2 entries for Delibes.

Delibes' charming comedy ballet takes inspiration from E. T. A. Hoffmann's story Der Sandman, a fantastical tale of a dancing doll being brought to life by her creator, the toymaker Dr Coppelius.

It was premiered at the Paris Opera in 1870, and went down a treat thanks to its bright, saccharine tunes, influencing future ballet composers like Tchaikovsky.

Vanessa Zahorian and the San Francisco Ballet Dancers in publicity shot for George Balanchine's 2011 production of Coppélia. Photo by Erik Tomasson.