The ballet "Giselle" is one of the most outstanding works of the World Choreography. The premiere took place on June 28, 1841. The presentation was put into life by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, who wrote their names in the World history of the Ballet. "Giselle" is a classic romantic ballet. The real world is described in the first half, is opposed to the dream world, shown in the final. The basic idea of the ballet is the love. It is sublime sacrifice in the beginning, and award of its irresistible force in the final.
A touching love story of paysanne and nobleman, interwoven with poetic Slavic superstition about the girls who died before the wedding and at night rising from their graves to satisfy the passion for dancing, not exhausted during the lifetime, fits perfectly into the romantic era. The plot is given the ability to create on the stage the magnificent spectacle with numerous dance routines, parades and fantastic flights.
Conductor – Honoured Artist of Russia Vladimir Kovalenko;
Choreographer – Honoured Artist of Russia, laureate of the International contests of ballet masters, laureate of Maurice Bejart award Cyril Shmorgoner;
Production Designer – People's Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Okunev (St. Petersburg);
Photographers – Denis Baturin, Dmitry Vinogradov, Elizaveta Sukhova.
Count Albert disguises himself as a peasant and courts a peasant girl Giselle. Hans, a forester in love with Giselle, tries to interfere but fails. Albert and Giselle take part in village dances, until Giselle’s mother Bertha stops her daughter from dancing: the girl has a bad heart. Hans secretly makes way into Albert’s hunting house and finds a silver sword with a coat-of-arms there. The Duke of Courland with his entourage stops in the village. Among them is Albert’s fiancée, Bathilde, the daughter of the Duke. Albert hides away. Bathilde admires Giselle’s beauty and gives her a golden ornament. The noblemen dissemble to have rest. Giselle begs her mother to let her dance. The latter reluctantly agrees. Giselle dances her best dance with Albert/ Suddenly Hans runs in and accuses Albert of deception and shows his proof: the sword. Giselle is shocked. Hans blows the hunting horn. The nobleman come out and are surprised by Albert’s peasant dress. Albert kisses Bathilde’s hand. Giselle is assures the Duke's daughter that Albert has sworn to her an oath of fidelity and love. Outraged by Giselle's claims, Bathilde shows her the engagement ring. Giselle loses her mind and dies.
Inconsolable Hans comes to Giselle’s grave at night. Suddenly mysterious lights spring into blaze. The frightened young man runs away. At midnight moonlit ghostly Wilis, the souls of dead virgins deceived by unfaithful lovers, appear among the graves. Every night they come out to the ground and dance. Woe to any traveler who will meet them: as a revenge for their abused love, the Wilis dance men to death. The Wilis hide as Albert, tortured by remorse, comes to the cemetery. Suddenly he notices the figure of Giselle, rushes to her, but the image disappears. Then it reappears again and again, as if trying to lead him away, to warn him... The Wilis pursue Hans. By order of the unforgiving sovereign Myrtha, they drag him into the lake. Then they surround Albert. Giselle implores the sovereign to have mercy on Albert, but in vain. Myrtha takes out her magic branch to confirm her sentence, but still cannot overcome Giselle’s and Albert’s unfailing love. Myrtha orders Albert to dance. It is a chance for him, because the power of the Wilis will be over with the dawn. Giselle dances with Albert him all night. Exhausted by the endless dance, Albert falls at Myrtha’s feet... The morning bell tolls. The Wilis disappear. The shadow of Giselle melts away too, but the eternal sorrow for his lost love, the one that is stronger than death, is to live in Albert's memory forever.
Music by Adolphe Adam (1803-1856)
Libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jean-Henry Saint-Georges
Choreography: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Mauris Petipa
World Premiere - June 28, 1841