While the first, a contemporary work by Akram Khan, will be something of a revolution, in January we return to the enduring charm of the original in a production created by Mary Skeaping in 1971.
It’s the story of a young and beautiful but delicate peasant girl, Giselle, who falls in love with the Duke Albrecht, who is masquerading as a peasant. But when she discovers both his real identity and his betrothal to a woman of his own rank, Giselle goes mad with grief and her fragile heart expires.
Leaving a penitent Albrecht and her distraught peasant admirer Hilarion, Giselle abandons the mortal world. Her soul is claimed by the vengeful Willis, wrathful spirits of girls who died before their wedding days.
Choreographer Mary Skeaping danced in Giselle alongside the legendary Anna Pavlova and her version, based on Marius Petipa’s revision, is the most historically accurate.
Designs by David Walker and lighting by David Mohr capture the ephemeral night of the Willis, an unnerving contrast to the bright village of the first act. The ENB Philharmonic Orchestra will play Adolphe Adams’ memorable score.
Some impressive guest stars will join the ENB cast, including the Mariinsky Ballet's British First Soloist Xander Parish. Michaela DePrince of the Dutch National Ballet will also guest dancing the role of Myrtha, Queen of the Willis.
Each time an old classic reappears we must question its relevance in a modern age. But alongside a brand new production and still claiming the title for authenticity, this one earns its salt, and will provide a moving start to London ballet 2017.
|What||ENB Giselle, London Coliseum|
|Where||London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, , London , WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
11 Jan 17 – 22 Jan 17, Times vary, 2:30pm and 7:30pm
|Website||Click here to book via the ENB website|