New Orleans Ballet Theatre will present one of the most loved and famous of classical ballets
the Orpheum Theatre
Friday, May 25th, 2018
Giselle: Jennifer Kronenberg
Albrecht: Carlos Guerra
Myrtha: Felicia McPhee
Giselle first premiered in France on June 28th, 1841, where the title role was danced by Carlotta Grisi. Originally choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, with music by Adolphe Adam, Giselle met immediate success. With it's beautiful music, graceful choreography, and heartfelt story, this romantic ballet has endured the test of time and continues to be one of the most well-known and loved classical ballets of all time.
In an idyllic German village set in medieval Germany, Hilarion pays a visit to Giselle's cottage early in the morning to leave behind a bouquet of fresh flowers. Hilarion is secretly in love with Giselle and quickly runs into the forest without catching her attention.
Meanwhile, Albrecht, the Duke of Silesia, has made his way into the village upon which his castle overlooks. Although he is betrothed to Princess Bathilde, he disguises himself as a peasant to keep his position and impending marriage a secret, and he seeks out the attention of the beautiful village girl Giselle.
Though shy, Giselle warms quickly to him and they both fall deeply in love. When Hilarion returns, he warns her not to trust the stranger, but he is pushed aside and ignored. Giselle and Albrecht dance in merriment. Berthe, Giselle's mother, also does not approve of Giselle's infatuation with the stranger and immediately and warns her not to dance too much, especially due to her condition in which she has a weak heart.
Horns are sounded in the distance, and Albrecht quickly leaves to avoid detection as Princess Bathilde and the royal hunting party stop by the village for refreshments. Giselle and the villagers happily greet their royal guests and Giselle dances for them. In return, Bathilde gives Giselle a lovely necklace. After the hunting party departs, Albrecht returns and the celebration ensues.
As Giselle dances and joins in the excitement, Hilarion returns with Albrecht's sword and horn, both of superior quality, to prove that he not the peasant that he is pretending to be.
Hilarion sounds the horn and the hunting party returns. Giselle cannot believe it, and realizes her new love is not only the Duke, but also engaged to be married. The betrayal leads her to madness, and she throws herself onto his sword, falling lifelessly to the ground.
It's midnight in the woods near Giselle's grave, and Hilarion visits to mourn her. As he weeps, the Wilis, a group of vengeful female spirits who have all been jilted, rise and dance around him. The Queen of the Wilis, Myrtha, leads them, and the frightened Hilarion leaves.
The Duke then arrives searching the wood for Giselle's grave. Giselle's spirit is raised when the Duke draws near and he is reunited with Giselle. Even in the afterlife, she still loves him and is quick to forgive his deception.
Meanwhile, the Wilis will not let Hilarion escape, then they force him to dance until he dies of exhaustion. The spirits then turn their sights to the Duke and are determined to kill him, too. The Duke begs for his life, and Giselle tries to protect him, but Myrtha is unforgiving. However, Giselle's love gives him the strength to dance until sun rise, when the Wilis must return to their graves, thus saving his life.