Considered by many to be the greatest of all Romantic ballets, Giselle is the tragic tale of a young peasant girl who dies, heartbroken, on learning that her mysterious lover is in fact a nobleman, betrothed to another.
But the brutal social injustice of the first act merely sets the scene for the iconic second Act, in which – for the first time in ballet – the emphasis is on the supernatural.
The ghosts of jilted young women who rise to welcome Giselle into their midst – and to wreak revenge on all men by dancing them to their deaths – is an idea that allows for some wonderful ethereal effects and choreography. This is, after all, a ballet that transformed the dance world when it was first performed in Paris in 1841, and it remains both a much-loved go-to for aficionados, and a great introduction to classical ballet.
Cape Town City Ballet has been much lauded for its productions of Giselle over the years, and this production is hugely anticipated. Excitingly, CTCB will be joined this July by one of Europe’s top ballerinas, Ksenia Ovsyanick of the Berlin State Ballet, who is set to take the title role at two performances. See photos of her in action here.
This searing depiction of heartbreak, and the power of forgiveness over revenge, is accompanied by Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at all but one performance. Visually, audiences can look forward to the original costume designs by Peter Cazalet, produced 40 years ago.
Performances are in the Artscape Opera House from 6 to 15 July, 2018. Ticket prices range between R100 and R500.
WIN WITH WHAT’S ON IN CAPE TOWN: To stand a chance to win a pair of tickets to Cape Town City Ballet’s Giselle simply visit our Facebook page for more details. Draw takes place on 21 June 2018.
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Performance casting: Giselle | Albrecht | Hilarion | Queen of the Wilis
Fri 6 July @ 7.30pm: Laura Bosenberg | Daniel Szybkowski | Xola Putye | Rosamund Ford
Sat 7 July @ 2pm: Kirstel Paterson | Conrad Nusser | Craig Pedro | Claire Spector
Sat 7 July @ 7.30pm: Mariette Opperman | Xola Putye | Conrad Nusser | Caitlin Smith
Sun 8 July @ 3pm: Laura Bosenberg | Daniel Szybkowski | Craig Pedro | Leanè Theunissen
Fri 13 July @ 7.30pm: Kirstel Paterson | Conrad Nusser | Xola Putye | Caitlin Smith (no orch)
Sat 14 July @ 2pm: Mariette Opperman, | Xola Putye | Conrad Nusser | Leanè Theunissen
Sat 14 July @ 7.30pm: Ksenia Ovsyanick (guest artist) | Daniel Szybkowski | Xola Putye | Rosamund Ford
Sun 15 July @ 3pm: Ksenia Ovsyanick (guest artist) | Daniel Szybkowski, | Craig Pedro | Claire Spector