Giselle was first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre
de l'Académie Royale de Musique, Paris, France, on June 28, 1841.
is a ballet by Adolphe Adam. It consiste of two acts, two scenes, with a libretto
by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier. Giselle was
originally choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot (the principal Ballerina's
dances), but the choreography of nearly all modern productions derives from Marius
Petipa's revivals for the Imperial Ballet (1884, 1899, 1903).
dance editor for Culturekiosque.com,
suggests that Giselle is the most perfect of the Romantic ballets 'because it
is not only breathtaking visually, but deals with real people. Every woman can
identify with Giselle and share her feelings, while most men sympathise either
with Albrecht or Hilarion. They know what it is to fall deeply in love with someone
you have no right to, or to flirt selfishly with a young girl and break her heart.'
Giselle is, on one level, a simple rustic tale, the ballet showcases the skills
of the lead artists, and also separates those who have a flair for drama from
those who may have the technique, but don't rise to become the character.
is naive, vulnerable, innocent, in love, in despair, mad, forgiving and self-sacrificing
... and more. Albtrecht is an insensitive, selfish man who realises too late that
he has both fallen in love and destroyed the object of his love; he shows contrition,
courage and even understanding of what happens to him and around him. The supporting
characters of Hilarion and Mirtha and also have wide dramatic roles, too.
two acts could not be more different; the first act being colourful, bright and
- for the most part - optimistic and light, while the second, white, act is much
more formal, dark and unsettling.