The Most Romantic Ghost Story of All Time
For all of us who love to watch ballet, here are some lovely links to the beautifully tragic romantic ballet, Giselle, that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Whether you feel like being cozy in your PJ’s or dressing up like it’s a fancy night out, we hope you love it!
The Story of Giselle
Giselle is a beautiful peasant maid with a love of dance and a weak heart. Duke Albrecht of Silesia is enchanted by her, and disguises himself as a peasent during the village wine festival.
Though at first Giselle resists his advances, he pledges his eternal love to her. However, he has already betrayed her. This is made clear with the arrival of a hunting party, where we meet the Duke of Courland and his beautiful daughter Princess Bathilde, to whom Albrecht is engaged.
Bathilde is beguiled with Giselle’s youthful innocence. When Giselle tells the princess that she is engaged, Bathilde gives her a necklace, neither realizing that they are betrothed to the same man.
Albrecht’s duplicity is discovered by the gamekeeper, Hilarion, who is also in love with Giselle, and a much better match according to Giselle’s protective Mother, who worries about Giselle dancing and hear weak heart. When jealous Hilarion tells of Albrecht’s disguise. Devastated Giselle goes mad, and dies.
Deep in the forest lies Giselle’s grave. She has become a Wili. The wilis are the ghosts of innocent girls who have died betrayed by their faithless lovers on the eve of their weddings.
Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, finds Hilarion beside Giselle’s grave. She calls upon the rest of the wilis who haunt the forest, coaxing wanderers to dance with them until they die from exhaustion before the dawn. Such is Hilarion’s fate, and by dawn he has died.
Giselle’s grave is next visited by a sorrowful Albrecht. Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, commands Giselle to come from her grave and entice Albrecht to dance with her to his death. Giselle dances with Albrecht all night, as the Wilis only have their dark power at night, if she can keep him alive until dawn’s first light, they will not be able to kill him. Giselle helps Albrecht live until dawn.
Giselle’s apparation dissapears back into her grave, and Albrecht is left alone and heartbroken.
Full Length Productions to Watch from Home!
LIBRETTO by T. Gautier and J. Saint-Georges CHOREOGRAPHIC VERSION by Konstantin Ivanov. Premiere – July 6, 2011 CAST GISELLE – Mikhaylova Kristina ALBERT – Starikov Roman HANS, VILLAGE GAMEKEEPER – Vasiliev Artem BERTHE, GISELLE’S MOTHER – Nikolaeva Tatiana DUKE, ALBERT’S FATHER – Saraikin Ilya BATHILDE, ALBERT’S FIANCEE – Novozhilova Alla WILFRID, ALBERT’S SQUIRE – Novikov Maksim MYRTHA, THE QUEEN OF THE WILIS – Sergeeva Svetlana The Orchestra under the direction of the conductor Alexander Andrianov.
Bolshoi Ballet, Performance of Giselle
Royal Danish Ballet’s performance of Giselle
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