Giselle is the quintessential Romantic classic, a love affair that begins in the real world and continues beyond the grave. The ballet’s title role also offers one of the great challenges of the ballet repertory, as Giselle transforms from an innocent peasant girl, duped into love, to a forgiving spirit who saves her lover from death. For the ballerina this is a role of two contrasting halves: in Act I she must appear naïve and artless, her dancing alive with an earthy enthusiasm; in Act II she transforms into light and air, her dancing so ethereal as to seem weightless. In Peter Wright’s production, the dual aspect of the ballet is perfectly achieved: the first act dramatized in rich, naturalistic detail and the second with a spectral, moonlit beauty.

Choreography Marius Petipa after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot
Music Adolphe Adam revised by Joseph Horovitz
Scenario Théophile Gautier after Heinrich Heine
Production and additional choreography Peter Wright
Designer John Macfarlane
Original lighting Jennifer Tipton recreated by David Finn