Artistic's POV: Giselle with Ballet Master Brian McSween

As a ballet, Giselle is a rich source of growth for the dancers, and on many levels. It’s technically challenging as well as physically and emotionally demanding. It’s socially challenging, especially for the women in the “Wili” corps, because they have to work closely and precisely in unison in order to capture the beauty of the Wilis’ movement. It’s artistically challenging because a large part of the ballet’s emotion and drama is carried through acting.

I had the privilege of dancing the late Sir Frederick Franklin’s staging of Giselle when I was with Joffrey Ballet. I was in the role of Hilarion which does not include very much dancing but does have a lot of theatrical detail that, as an artist, I found enriching.

Memphis doesn’t have the opportunity to see many full-length ballets, especially performed by a local company. Giselle is a ballet in which you get invested, in both the story and in how the dancers bring that story to life. It is a different experience for the audience (and the dancers) than a shorter repertory performance. The audience will have time to get to know the dancers in these roles, to get to know the characters they are playing and to journey with them through all of the emotions involved.

I am proud of this Company and how hard they have worked to bring this ballet to life; it is very exciting to be a part of it.