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Found 39 results

  1. This evening is the premiere of Ratmansky's new Giselle for the Bolshoi. This news video is in Russian so even though I can't understand it's still interesting to see the costumes and staging. https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ru&sp=nmt4&u=https://tvrain.ru/teleshow/vechernee_shou/meldonij_dlja_balerin-497766/&xid=25657,15700023,15700186,15700190,15700256,15700259,15700262,15700265,15700271,15700283&usg=ALkJrhij0y84wnEnM-Z0c4iIy9RMP_FSFg
  2. The casting for the Birmingham Giselle performances is now on the website: https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/giselle Casting order: Giselle, Albrecht, Hilarion Wednesday 25th September - Momoko Hirata, Cesar Morales, Kit Holder Thursday matinee 26th - Celine Gittens, Brandon Lawrence, Alexander Yap Thursday evening 26th - Miki Mizutani, Mathias Dingman, Lachlan Monaghan Friday 27th - Delia Matthews, Tyrone Singleton, Yasuo Atsuji Saturday matinee 28th - Momoko Hirata, Cesar Morales, Kit Holder Saturday evening 28th - Celine Gittens, Brandon Lawrence, Alexander Yap
  3. (I posted this in the wrong place!) It's too late for Birmingham, but the casting for Plymouth and Sadler's Wells can be accessed from this page: https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/giselle#dates-and-times I suppose the absence of the Gittens/Lawrence cast means I don't have to go to all 3 performances
  4. I haven't seen Boston Ballet live in decades, and that was at the Wang Center. The beauty of the Opera House is an experience in and of itself; on top of that, Boston Ballet performing Giselle made it the highlight of my recent trip there. Here's my review of the Saturday matinee performance.
  5. Just a heads up to any adult ballet dancers based in the West Country - my local studio, DanSci Dance, is holding an adult repertoire day based on Giselle on 21st July, 10:00 - 15:00. It will start with a Progressing Ballet Technique session, then a ballet class, then work on Giselle repertoire. I'll be working in the USA, so can't do it, which is a pity as I love the choreography of Giselle. We've been doing Giselle-influenced adage and port de bras in class recently, and it's lovely to dance. It's also nice repertoire for adult dancers because you don't need high extensions or multiple pirouettes to make it look good - the choreography requires you to have a beautiful clear pure line and really gets you thinking about the use of arms, back, and head. I'm not sure how much specific detail to give here (I'm just a student at the studio - no financial interest!) but the studio website should come up if you google, or search on Facebook. Hope this is OK to post, Mods.
  6. Hi all, would just like to share that the North East Dance Co-operative have organised an observation of Vienna Festival Ballet at work in company class and in rehearsal for Giselle. This takes place on Friday 31st of May at Middlesbrough Theatre. A great opportunity for any members in the North East - the event is free, but you must sign up to the NEDC first (details in the link) http://bit.ly/NEDC-ViennaFestivalBallet-2019
  7. You may remember that Graeme Murphy, TAB's famous choreographer, pulled out of presenting his latest work, The Little Prince only a couple of months before it was due to premiere. Ill health. Anyway, TAB replaced it, in Sydney, with Giselle, which was presented in Melbourne last year ( I saw it with David Hallberg as Albrecht. Unforgettable.) This presentation was good but not great. Ako Kondo was a feather-light Giselle, dazzled by the wonderful, good-looking, apparently considerate creature who was interested in her. You saw her move from dutiful daughter, remembering her mother's (undoubted) warnings, to confident and care-free woman, secure in her love. You saw her reluctance to hurt Hilarion (Andrew Killian) but her determination to respect her own feelings. Chengwu Guo, as Albrecht, was less impressive. He is a great dancer, capable of exploding into action, apparently from stillnes. However, his Albrecht showed no development. You did not see him gradually fall in love with Giselle. In fact his somewhat disengaged demenour at the beginning of Act 1 was largely unchanged at the end of the act. Act 2 was better, but I got little sense of the desperation which needs to underpin Albrecht's dancing. The dancing of the corps de ballet was wonderful, rivetting. In Act 1 they created a sunny, untroubled vision of village life against which the tragedy unfolded. In Act 2 they were steely and flint-hearted: exacting terrible revenge for their own suffering. Overall, a good evening, so I will avoid unnecessary comparisons with last year in Melbourne.ūüėä
  8. This opened last night with a stunning first performance. I loved it. More thoughts from me when I've seen other casts.
  9. Thought we might as well use the Poll feature for a change! I'm thinking probably the Rojo/Streeter/Corrales/Quagebeur cast, but open to alternatives. All views welcome, no included, so as to get an accurate idea of potential interest. You can add any comments below.
  10. Full disclosure - I wrote most of this shortly after seeing it, but have only just got around to finishing the review, so apologies if it's a bit incomplete. Also apologies for starting a new thread so late! August this year marked my fortieth birthday, and back in the spring when my girlfriend asked what I wanted to do to celebrate, I immediately suggested we could go to Belgium and see Nancy Osbaldeston dance at Royal Ballet Flanders. Those of you who follow my posts will know that she is by far my favourite dancer! So we had a look at RBF's calendar and immediately Amran Khan's Giselle stood out. I've missed it at ENB, but some glittering reviews and recommendations mean it's something I've been excited to see for ages so we booked immediately. A loooong summer of waiting finally ended last week, when we hopped on the Eurostar to Belgium. I'll cut a long story short, this show was possibly the best thing I've seen on a stage. ūüėÉ The word that leapt - or should that be jet√©ed? - into my mind as I was watching the performance was 'disruptive'. It feels almost like the first of a new generation of works in dance; elements of classical ballet woven seamlessly with contemporary choreography, both married to a taut narrative flow lifted more from the pacing of a film than a languid classical ballet. The doffs of the cap to classical versions of Giselle pleased the ballet geek in me, and the lifting en pointe of Giselle at the start of the second act demonstrated that Khan wasn't about to throw the ballet rulebook out the window, but wanted to push it forward. Whereas Matthew Bourne's contemporary productions can sometimes feel to me a bit like 'musicals with the singing taken out', this comes across like a proper ballet production, albeit one that is resolutely reaching towards the future. The set, the lighting, the use of sound (even from the dancers - gasp!), the willingness by Khan to embrace stillness for long periods all add up to a production that I found utterly mesmerising. Nancy Osbaldeston, for those of you who might not have come across her, stood out to me even in the corps at ENB. She won their Emerging Dancer competition in 2013, and moved from being a First Soloist at ENB to Royal Ballet Flanders in 2014. She was promoted to Soloist in '17 and Principal in '18. Her quick promotion is a testament to just how talented she is. And it's not like she's just a big fish in a small pond; RBF have an exceptional depth and breadth of talent throughout the ranks. Their Onegin eclipsed the Royal Ballet's production for me when I saw both in quick succession a few years ago. They are a fantastic company. Nancy's dancing has a quality that raises her above so many other dancers, but I always find so hard to describe. There's a musicality, a grace of movement that feels effortless, natural; the shapes she creates are like tracing liquid through the air. You know when you gently stir a mug of tea into a mini whirlpool and add the milk slowly, the beautiful patterns it makes? Maybe something like that. ūü§Ē But married to that, she has a rare gift for communicating so much just through movement. Some technically excellent dancers need to communicate through their eyes or their expressions, but Nancy manages to convey complexity, depth and subtlety of emotion just through the gentle sweep her fingertips, the arc of her toe through the air. Her pas de deux scenes with Albrecht in both acts reminded me of Vera, Stina Quagebeur's superb piece Nancy danced at ENB Choreographics, such was their power. Each movement was packed with meaning, with love, with heartbreak. When Albrecht reaches to Giselle's belly in Act 2, Nancy's dancing infuses that short moment of choreography with utterly desperate sorrow. Daniel Domenech was utterly superb. Danced with attack, power, coupled with sublime technique, his Hilarion was a character instantly recognisable from any city centre pub on a Saturday night. Chest puffed out, self assurance and entitlement sweating from every over-aftershaved pore, small-man-syndrome rage barely suppressed, his Hilarion viewed Giselle as a prize to be won, a commodity to be owned. While Khan's work pre-dates the 'MeToo' movement, Domenech's Hilarion here feels even more fiercely contemporary in the current climate and sublimely easy to despise. Domenech‚Äôs Hilarion had an excellent counterpoint in Claudio Canagialosi‚Äôs Albrecht, who danced with poise and nobility. Ana Carolina Quaresma utterly inhabited the role of Bathilde. She channeled the perfect blend of otherworldliness, sororal and maternal power, and a purity of rage. As I‚Äôm finishing this review nearly an entire month after seeing it - I really should get round to this quicker! - so I‚Äôll round it off there without going into too much more. I urge you to try and catch Nancy Osbaldeston in the future, and I urge you, if you get the chance, to see her with RBF. She‚Äôs one of the finest dancers this country has produced in recent years, and RBF are a sensational environment in which to see her. You won't be disappointed, and you never know, it might just end up being the best thing you've ever seen on a stage.
  11. Well, it's been quite a year .... Firebird, two of them, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Leila and Majnun, Spartacus. Good thing there's no mandated maximum to the number of highlights you can have, because I don‚Äôt know what I'd drop from the list. And there's still TAB's Cinderella to come. But right now there's Teatro alla Scala's Giselle and Don Quixote in Brisbane. First, Giselle. With David Hallberg. Which I didn't know when I purchased the ticket. And Nicoletta Manni. There has been criticism, elsewhere in this forum, of David Hallberg's performance. With respect, I largely disagree. It is true that his performance, particularly in Act 2, lacked fireworks. Great partnering, but no fireworks. But his presentation of the character of Albrecht was wonderful. At the beginning an arrogant aristocrat bent only on seduction, he became more and more enamoured, his gaze seeking out Giselle, and softening, even when she was on the opposite side of the stage. When confronted with the Duke, he froze; then Bathilde appears and the horror of the situation breaks over him. Only with difficulty is he able to pull himself together and greet her. Then Giselle intervenes and the rest is history. It occurs to me that Giselle could be seen as a study in the consequences of ignoring the law of cause and effect. Giselle falls for a completely unknown young man, someone with no ties to the village. I am sure that her over-protective mother must have warned her about the dangers of unknown and unattached young men. (Yes, I know that with Giselle herself, I'm drawing rather a long bow, but hopefully less so with Hilarion and Albrecht.) Giselle has clearly indicated to Hillarion that she does not love him, but he clearly believes that he only has to get rid of Albrecht and he will be home and hosed. Giselle's own wishes don't seem to register in his mind at all. He appears sublimely unaware of the possible effect on Giselle herself of exposing Albrecht's deceit. As for Albrecht, well, he has clearly no concern about the effects of his seduction (what else are attractive peasant girls there for?), until he falls in love, ending up in far deeper water than he had previously experienced. He is consequently shocked to the core when Bathilde (Emanuela Montanari) appears, and watches Giselle's disintegration with impotent horror, aware of his responsibility, but unable to intervene in events. This sets up Act 2, where Giselle intervenes discisively, rather nicely. Whatever, in Act 2, Nicoletta Manni is a feather-light Giselle, flying across the stage, rarely touching the ground. In Act 1 she had been a quiet, even shy girl, coming to life as she fell more and more under Albrecht's spell. Now she is loving, mourning, pleading for his life. The fireworks are provided by Christian Fagetti. His Hillarion is a far more sympathetic character than is usually the case, and his terror, his desperation, his pleading results in a brief but spectacular burst of dance before he is hustled off the stage and out of this life with unusual rapidity. Overall, this Giselle was very different from the TAB presentation I saw in August, a presentation also featuring Hallberg. Don Quixote was a very different kettle of fish. This was an exuberant, colourful ballet, and Nicoletta Manni a vibrant, cheeky Kitri, one who knew her own worth and was not about to settle for second best (BTW, Nicoletta Manni danced Giselle on Friday night, Kitri on Saturday and Giselle on Sunday. How she did it, I don't know, but thank you, Nicoletta; you were great. ūüėä) Basilio was danced by Leonid Sarafanov of Moscow's Mikhalovski Theatre, and I didn't know that he would be dancing either. Anyway, he provided fireworks aplenty, as well as being a worthy foil for Kitri. His dancing was technically assured and the chemistry between him and Manni convincing. Special mention needs to be given to Giuseppe Conte's Don Quixote, a characterisation second only to that of Robert Helpman in Nureyev's 1972 film with Lucette Aldos and TAB, and anyone who has read my previous posts on DQ will know that I have no higher praise. His DQ was elderly and deluded but eternally dignified. Great costumes and wonderful sets, especially the wonderful woodland setting of Act 3. Overall, two memorable performances and a great trip to Brisbane.
  12. Have just seen on the BBC news that Akram Khan is creating his first full classical ballet with a new version of Giselle. It is being made for ENB in co-production with Sadler's Wells and the Manchester International Festival and will open in Manchester next year. I can't find anything else about it as yet. Does anyone know more?
  13. Also posted on Twitter - spare e-ticket going for tonight's Giselle. Amphitheatre G69, face value £35. Hope it'll find a good home - if not will return to Box Office later this PM. Drop me a message if interested!
  14. Orchestra stalls left. £112 per ticket, face value. I can deliver in Central London by arrangement. It’s the last performance, curtain 730pm. Very sad to miss it
  15. I have the following ticket available for the 12:30pm matinee performance of Giselle tomorrow at the Royal Opera House. Balcony Standing C65 £8
  16. I have an Amphi Ticket V65 for original price £14.00. I will be in London ROH area by 1800 today. Please PM me.
  17. Interested in all of these dates! Relatively inexpensive ideally, as I paid top price for a seat on 20th Jan and can't do that again I could also exchange for a front row amphitheatre seat on 21st February.
  18. With Cuthbertson and Bonelli. You can either have A53 or A55 (front row) of Ampitheatre. Great view; restricted legroom. £35.
  19. Wanting tickets for any performance of Giselle. Ideally to watch Nu√Īez or Osipova, but not massively fussy. Thank you!
  20. Hi anyone have a spare stalls circle standing or similar for Giselle evening of Jan 20th please - would consider same for Feb 5th??.... Thanks Jules
  21. would love to provide a good home for a spare stalls circle standing for giselle on january 19th - would consider good balcony standing too ..... thanks please let me know jules
  22. The first performance of this was tonight, with Alina Cojocaru in the title role. Thoughts here, please.
  23. As there was some interest in the article I wrote about the creative process of Mary Skeaping's "Giselle", here it is in its entirety. I hope people will find it interesting and that it will add to your enjoyment of English National Ballet's performances. Mary Skeaping and Giselle By Irmgard E. Berry (adviser to the Skeaping Estate) I was privileged to be Mary Skeaping‚Äôs assistant for the last five years of her life and honoured when, a few months before her death, she entrusted to me not only her extensive research material but also the guardianship of her choreographic copyright and the artistic integrity of her productions. During our many hours of working together, our conversation had often turned to the creation of her production of Giselle in particular and she was especially keen to teach me all the mime scenes she had restored to the ballet. Skeaping‚Äôs life-long love of Giselle began 1925 when she joined Anna Pavlova‚Äôs company as extra corps de ballet for a four-week season at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. To Skeaping, Pavlova remained incomparable as Giselle, although she greatly admired the interpretations of Olga Spessivtseva and Alicia Markova and, in her own productions, Alicia Alonso, Raissa Struchkova, Violetta Elvin, Galina Samtsova and Eva Evdokimova. To be in Act I of Giselle with Pavlova was a harrowing experience for the other dancers as, each time she performed the Mad Scene, it was so real that she reduced them to tears. The second act was easier to bear as the dancers were able to concentrate on portraying particularly evil Wilis. When, as Artistic Director of the Royal Swedish Ballet, Skeaping finally had the opportunity to create her own production of Giselle in 1953, staging it a few months later for Ballet Alicia Alonso (the forerunner of the National Ballet of Cuba), she approached it from a musical point of view. (Skeaping was a trained musician, having studied at London‚Äôs Royal College of Music in 1924). Having danced in both Pavlova‚Äôs production and Sergueyev‚Äôs 1932 production for the Camargo Society, and having rehearsed the Sadler‚Äôs Wells version originally staged by Sergueyev, Skeaping was always troubled by the brutal cuts and rearrangements in the order of the pieces which she felt would never have been sanctioned by Adolphe Adam, nor was the banal orchestration the work of this master of melodious and harmonious music. The ballet and its music had proved so popular in 1841 that the Paris Op√©ra had taken the unprecedented step of publishing a piano reduction of Giselle. (Hitherto, complete ballet scores had not been considered of sufficient interest to warrant the expense of publishing them.) However, this proved to be a double-edged sword because, although ballet companies wishing to perform Giselle could thus use the original music, rather than composing a new score, the orchestration was generally left to ‚Äėhouse‚Äô composers far less accomplished than Adam, often resulting in the loss of its dramatic quality. In the 1950s most companies used the B√ľsser edition of the piano reduction which had been prepared from Olga Spessivtseva‚Äôs 1924 performances at the Paris Op√©ra. Skeaping investigated the archives of the Royal Opera, Stockholm, and found that, although there was no complete orchestral score of the 1841 production, which was first performed in Stockholm in 1845, there was a copy of the 1841 piano reduction. Notwithstanding the lack of orchestral colour, the score proved invaluable in revealing the correct order of the pieces and for the dramatic instructions it contained although, of course, there was no indication of the actual steps danced. The archives also housed some orchestral parts of the scenes she wished to restore and on this Skeaping built her production until she was able to obtain a microfilm of the original orchestral score from the Paris Op√©ra. This was the score which would have been transcribed from Adam‚Äôs handwritten score (also housed in the Op√©ra‚Äôs archives) by one of the Op√©ra‚Äôs copyists for use by the conductor in 1841. Skeaping also collected as much information as possible on the original production, with Gautier‚Äôs writings, critiques, lithographs and newspaper cartoons all providing her with inspiration. In her research, Skeaping received tremendous help and support from Tamara Karsavina, who had danced Giselle in Russia a few years after Pavlova‚Äôs debut in the role and in the version staged by Michel Fokine for the Ballets Russes. Karsavina, one of the finest exponents of balletic mime, which she had been teaching in London since the 1930s, taught Skeaping the complete mime sequences which had been drastically cut or omitted altogether in many productions during the 20th century. She also discussed the restorations Fokine had made to the ballet at the request of Serge Diaghilev. To Skeaping‚Äôs delight, these included a number of the elements that she herself wished to restore, particularly the Fugue for the Wilis in Act II which had been cut from Russian productions at some point in the late 19th century. Skeaping was keen to introduce the villagers at the very beginning of Act I, as indicated in the 1841 piano score. In 1968, when Mary was staging the work for the Frankfurt Ballet, her designer Hein Heckroth (designer of Kurt Jooss‚Äôs groundbreaking The Green Table) told her of the autumnal custom still followed in some German villages of tasting the new wine at a different cottage each day. The selected cottage is indicated by a wreath-encircled wine-jug hung outside. For Mary, this seemed to answer a question that had long bothered her: Why does the royal party stop at Giselle‚Äôs cottage in particular? She therefore incorporated this little ceremony into her subsequent productions. This also gives the opening scene a focal point as the young villagers, on their way to the vineyard, acknowledge the wreath and the prospect of the celebrations later that day with the wine tasting and the crowning of Giselle as queen of the vintage. Restoring this scene musically also restores Hilarion‚Äôs first entrance and we learn of his love for Giselle and the friendly relationship which exists between him and the vine-gatherers. In the ballet‚Äôs original scenario, the first scene between Giselle and Albrecht contained a mime scene in which Giselle tells him of a troubling dream in which a beautiful lady comes between them, dreams being a popular method of foreshadowing in Romantic plots. Although not including the entire mime scene, Skeaping uses the idea as a motivation for Giselle being unsure whether or not to stay with Albrecht and doubting his love (‚ÄúYou love me not‚ÄĚ), leading very nicely to the famous daisy scene. The two major restorations in Act I which Skeaping undertook in 1953 were Berthe‚Äôs (Giselle‚Äôs mother) mime scene and the suite of dances known as the Pas des Vendanges, both in their original positions. Romantic ballet was a blend of realism and the supernatural and, in the mother‚Äôs mime scene, we have the first indication of the supernatural, foreshadowing not only the music but also the action in Act II. Berthe, worried by Giselle‚Äôs passion for dancing and her infatuation with the young stranger (the Duke of Silesia in disguise), relates the legend of the Wilis, spirits of young girls who were inordinately fond of dancing and died as a result of being betrayed by faithless lovers. In death, they become female vampires, haunting the woods to avenge themselves on any male who crosses their path by forcing him to dance until he dies of exhaustion. Skeaping learned the mime sequence in full from Karsavina but simplified it very slightly for present day audiences. Skeaping restored in full Giselle‚Äôs meeting with Bathilde as performed by Pavlova and exactly as described in an article for The Dancing Times by Karsavina. According to Karsavina, the dialogue in which the two girls discover they are both engaged and Bathilde makes a gift to Giselle of a necklace, was to give a human touch to the otherwise purely functional part of Bathilde. It was at this point that Skeaping found the perfect place for the Peasant Pas de Deux. Although this was not in the original scenario, being a politically motivated interpolation to give the established √©toile, Nathalie Fitzjames, the opportunity to upstage the newcomer, Carlotta Grisi, just before her mad scene and had obviously not pleased Adam or Gautier, it had become an accepted part of the ballet. To Skeaping, it made dramatic sense to move it to a less intrusive position as the perfect entertainment for the royal party. The original suite, put together from music by Burgm√ľller, contained six pieces. Skeaping decided to use only the entr√©e and adage, boy‚Äôs variation with restoration of the rarely used coda, girl‚Äôs variation and coda. It was orchestrated for Skeaping by Peter March of the Tchaikovsky Foundation in New York. In Skeaping‚Äôs production, this is followed by Giselle‚Äôs solo to music by Minkus, probably choreographed in the 1880s and first danced in London in 1932 by Olga Spessivtseva. At first, Skeaping omitted this Russian interpolation in her productions but, after much persuading by Galina Samtsova, Giselle in the premi√®re of the 1971 production by London Festival Ballet, Skeaping found a dramatic reason for its inclusion: it is Giselle‚Äôs way of thanking Bathilde for her gift of the necklace. There was also the practical reason that guest artists would have a solo familiar to them. The Pas des Vendanges is a suite of dances which Giselle and Albrecht perform to celebrate the height of the wine festival, following Giselle‚Äôs coronation as queen of the vintage. No record of the original choreography exists, although there are some indications in Serge Lifar‚Äôs book on Giselle. Giselle‚Äôs solo is described as a vivacious tricotage to a flute melody. Albrecht should dance the ‚Äúacrobatic arsenal of the danse d‚Äô√©cole‚ÄĚ. In the finale of the pas de deux, Albrecht and Giselle ‚Äúgive an image of fidelity with kisses in arabesque‚ÄĚ. Skeaping drew on steps from earlier in Act I, her own knowledge of Romantic technique and a lithograph from the original production to create a charming set of dances to this suite. In Skeaping‚Äôs production, Giselle‚Äôs mad scene is based on the performances of Pavlova and Spessivtseva. For many years, there has been a controversy as to whether Giselle dies of a broken heart or stabs herself with Albrecht‚Äôs sword at the climax of the mad scene. Skeaping found Gautier‚Äôs writings ambiguous so she followed Pavlova‚Äôs example: the sword is snatched from Giselle before she can stab herself. Her weak heart, already revealed to the audience in a telling moment which Skeaping restored earlier in Act I, cannot stand the shock of Albrecht‚Äôs duplicity and so she dies. The essence of Act II is the conflict between the supernatural and the religious elements. The dominant figure of the supernatural world is Myrthe, whose passion for dancing is so great that she is queen of the Wilis. Skeaping restored her solo music in its entirety to establish this extraordinary passion, creating the most virtuosic choreography in the ballet for what she considered to be a ballerina role with the instructions to dance ‚Äúfuriously and with great delight‚ÄĚ. After summoning the other Wilis to initiate Giselle, Myrthe becomes cold and calculating as she instructs them to attack the gamekeepers who have wandered into her realm. Skeaping considered this scene crucial in establishing the Wilis as the cruel, vengeful creatures described by Heinrich Heine, luring any man to his fate. She found that, too often in 20th century stagings, the character of the Wilis is diluted so that they appear to be no more than sylphs, largely due to later orchestrations which remove the evil quality of the music but it should be remembered that, in the original score, Adam described the dances of the Wilis as an ‚Äúinfernal Bacchanale‚ÄĚ. The Fugue for the Wilis (allegro feroce) has perhaps been regarded as Skeaping‚Äôs most controversial restoration but she regarded it as central to the conflict between the supernatural and the religious. Giselle has led Albrecht to the safety of the cross marking her grave. The myrtle branch, symbol of Myrthe‚Äôs strength, is shattered by the superior power of the cross as she tries to force him away from it. This marks a turning point in the action as, from this moment on, her power is continually challenged. During the Fugue, she sends wave after wave of Wilis to force Albrecht away from the protection of the cross but each time they are repelled by its power (a stage direction from the original score). On the final bars, Myrthe orders Giselle away from the cross, realising that Albrecht will not be able to resist the seductive power of Giselle‚Äôs dance. In Skeaping‚Äôs production, Giselle subtly gestures to Albrecht to remain by the cross but, as she is carried away by the dance, so he is enraptured by her beauty and cannot resist leaving his sanctuary. However, Giselle continues to thwart Myrthe‚Äôs destructive intentions until the dawn when the Wilis must return to their graves. In a beautiful mime sequence restored by Skeaping, Giselle tells Albrecht ‚Äúthe sun has risen, you are saved‚ÄĚ. Skeaping‚Äôs production of Giselle has been acclaimed as powerful evocation of the Romantic era. However, in her view, the present day idea of Romanticism is very much distilled and therefore she decided to omit the final tableau vivant in which Bathilde and Albrecht are reconciled at Giselle‚Äôs grave. Instead, it is only Albrecht who receives Giselle‚Äôs blessing as her spirit sinks back into its grave, saved from her fate of remaining a Wili by her undying love. ¬© Irmgard E. Berry London 2016
  24. Casting is now on the ENB website: http://www.ballet.org.uk/whats-on/giselle/
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