Compellingly beautiful ballet, Giselle, to enchant Royal Opera House

Hailed as the greatest of all romantic ballets, Giselle is currently ranked among the top three best-loved ballets of all time. First performed in Paris in 1841 by the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique, Giselle was an immediate success and soon became tremendously popular across Europe, Russia and the United States. The brilliant choreography for Giselle originated during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at the Imperial Ballet in St Petersburg with the famous French ballet master, Marius Petipa.
The Royal Opera House Muscat presents this compellingly beautiful ballet in a production by one of the world’s greatest ballet companies – American Ballet Theatre (ABT) which   regularly performs Giselle at New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Theatre.
The New York Times describes the ABT performance of Giselle as one that “glows with dramatic life and finely nuanced acting that illuminates ABT’s virtuoso dancing.”
With staging by ABT’s acclaimed artistic director and former principal dancer, Kevin McKenzie, sets by the famous Italian production designer, Oscar-winning, Gianni Quaranta, and costumes by the distinguished Italian designer, Anna Anni, this luminous production represents the epitome of world class entertainment.
Giselle, a lovely young village girl with a weak heart, falls in love with a dashing nobleman, Count Albrecht, who has disguised himself as a peasant in order to court her. Unaware that he is already engaged to a princess, Giselle joyfully agrees to marry Albrecht. When the truth comes to light, Giselle’s fragile heart fails and she quite literally dies of a broken heart. Giselle is forced to join the ranks of the beautiful but terrible wilis, spirits who were jilted and seek vengeance by dancing to death any mortal man who comes their way. When the sorrowful Albrecht arrives to lay flowers on Giselle’s grave, he is captured by the wilis, but a forgiving Giselle manages to save her beloved. She is thereby freed from the evil wilis and ascends to heaven.
Giselle is ballet that requires supreme artistry and great technical skill in the execution of extremely demanding roles. As a village girl, Giselle must have a certain earthiness; and, as a spirit, Giselle is buoyant, weightless and ethereal. She must take to the air with invisible, almost whispering wings as if the air is her true element. Equally challenging is the role of Albrecht who must remain a mortal, but dance convincingly with Giselle’s spirit through tight double-air spins, extremely light jetés (leaps) and fluid, almost invisible entrechats (rapid leg-crossing in the air).
The Royal Opera House presents three performances of this poignant and beautiful ballet, Giselle – on April 6 (Thursday) and April 7 (Friday) at 7.30pm and 4pm on Satuday, April 8. For further information and booking, consult the ROHM website –