Ever wondered about the ballets our studios are named after?
In our second Dance Appreciation series blog, we will be introducing you to a Romantic Ballet, Giselle!
What makes Giselle a Romantic ballet?
Giselle was created with the style and cultural influence of the Romantic period. Romantic ballet is characterised by dramatic storytelling, with choreography that conveys intense emotions. The choreography of Giselle involves extensive pointe work, which was influenced by the advancements in the pointe shoe during the Romantic period.
Giselle - Peasant Girl
Albrecht - Duke of Silesia
Hilarion - Gamekeeper
Myrtha - Queen of the Wilis
Choreographers: Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot
Composer: Adolphe Adam
A peasant girl Giselle loves to dance but suffers from a weak heart condition. She is courted by Albrecht, who disguises himself as a peasant, whom she falls in love with.
During a hunting party, Bathilde and Giselle bond, unaware that they are both engaged to the same man. Hilarion falls into a rage and reveals Albrecht’s identity, after which Giselle goes into a frenzy and dies.
Giselle is now a Wili - Wilis are haunted spirits of women who passed on the eve of their weddings, betrayed by their lovers. Hilarion mourns at Giselle’s grave when Myrta discovers him and forces him to dance till his death. Albrecht visits Giselle’s grave as well, but Giselle protects him from the Wilis till dawn. Giselle returns to her grave and Albrecht is left alone.
Here are some of the most iconic scenes in Giselle:
Watch one of the most memorable scenes in Giselle here
Did you know?
Adolphe Adam uses leitmotifs for the different characters and scenes. The music during Giselle’s ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ scene returns in the mad scene and then again in Act II.
Leitmotifs are recurrent musical themes that are associated with a person, idea or situation.
You can visit these webpages to find out more!