22 September 2012

A charming little girl dances to "Coppélia"

She's a very special girl, as noted by her parents:
We knew Clara loved the Coppélia ballet, but little did we know she memorized the whole thing! She performed this solely from memory!

This is just a small snippet of her dancing to it. We would see her doing some ballet moves around the house thinking it was ballet moves she learned in ballet class, till one day someone decided to whip out a computer and compare her moves to that of the Coppélia ballerina, and, VOILA, we realized she memorized it, and can dance it!

Clara has been diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome and Autism. She spent her first 16 months in hospital, has gone through multiple surgeries since she was two weeks due to the complications with her syndrome. Before she was two, we noticed that she had difficulty connecting with people, was in a world of her own, and two years later she was also diagnosed with autism. Clara also had a lot of physical complications, and could not walk till she was four. She never spoke until she was six...
Here's some relevant background on the DiGeorge Syndrome:
... a syndrome caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome 22...

... affects between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 4000 live births. This estimate is based on major birth defects and may be an underestimate, because some individuals with the deletion have few symptoms and may not have been formally diagnosed...

Characteristic signs and symptoms may include birth defects such as congenital heart disease, defects in the palate, most commonly related to neuromuscular problems with closure (velo-pharyngeal insufficiency), learning disabilities, mild differences in facial features, and recurrent infections.
And a summary of Coppélia:
Coppélia is a comic ballet originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles Nuitter... based upon two stories by ETA Hoffmann: Der Sandmann (The Sandman), and Die Puppe (The Doll). Coppélia premiered on 25 May 1870 at the Théâtre Impérial de l´Opéra, with the 16-year-old Giuseppina Bozzacchi in the principal role of Swanhilde...

Coppélia concerns an inventor, Dr Coppelius, who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village swain, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his true heart's desire, Swanhilde. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor.
And finally here is Clara's tumblr.

Via Reddit.


  1. I love how she improvises around the absence of a partner.

  2. Yes . . . charming is the word. Not only is it memorized, but she has near impeccable timing. Amy, good observation regarding the improvisation.

  3. She reminds me of Eloise, the character by Kay Thompson. Absolutely fantastic.

  4. What a beautiful and talented girl. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Dance's magic,connecting beyond words. In her case it's not only about memorizing but also sticking to the music and adjusting the choreography to her own environement.


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