Giselle

April 12–14, 2019

Fierce love, betrayal and dance.

One of the most prolific and popular ballets of all time, Giselle tells the story of a peasant girl who descends into madness and ultimately dies of a broken heart after learning that her beloved is betrothed to someone else. With elements of the supernatural and incredibly technical and emotional dancing, this important piece of art is a visual treat for Memphis. "A must-see ballet"—Cennarium America

PERFORMANCES
Friday, Apr 12, 7:30p
Saturday, Apr 13, 7:30p
Sunday, Apr 14, 2p

HISTORY OF AN ICONIC BALLET

Set in the Middle Ages, this two-act ballet premiered at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris on Monday, June 28, 1842. Carlotta Grisi, a prima ballerina hailing from Italy, performed in the title role. This was an instant hit and made its way across Europe. However, the version choreographed by Marius Petipa during the turn of the twentieth century is the one that is frequently revised today. The tragic story of Giselle has been one of the most popular ballets for over 150 years. The role of Giselle demands much of the ballerina both technically and artistically. Giselle, a poor country maiden, falls madly in love with a young man, a prince parading as a commoner. After learning of this deception, Giselle takes her life and is transformed into a Willi (a ghost). When all the Willis try to revenge her lost love, Giselle defends her former love, saving his life and earning eternal peace. This ballet is the ultimate story of love and forgiveness.

One of the most beloved works from the classical repertoire, Giselle is a challenging undertaking for any company... a visual feast, featuring stunning costumes, evocative lighting and gorgeous scenery.
Jeffrey Ellis, Broadway World

Details

At the beginning of the piece, we meet Duke Albrecht of Silesia and Giselle, a shy and lovely commoner, with whom he has fallen in love. Still, Duke Albrecht is promised to Duke of Courtland’s daughter. Albrecht puts on a disguise, and goes by the name of Loys, with the intention of courting Giselle during the upcoming grape harvest festival.

Albrecht isn’t the only man who wishes for the hand of Giselle. Hilarion loves her too and is highly suspicious of Loys, who seems to be successful in attracting Giselle. Berthe, Giselle’s mother,  is concerned for her daughter because of her weakened heart.

When learning of Loy’s betrayal, Giselle dies of a broken heart. The first act ends with Berthe sobbing over her daughter’s deceased body. Hilarion and Albrecht begin to fight until Albrecht runs away in agony.