Giselle is a romantic ballet by the French composer Adolphe Adam — one of the most famous performances of the classical choreographic repertoire. For the first time, the ballet was presented on the stage of the Paris Opera in 1841 and since 2017 it has been performed at the Estonian National Opera.
The ballet is based on a story of a peasant girl named Giselle, who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. The Wilis (supernatural women who dance men to death) summon Giselle from her grave and decide to take her lover’s life as a part of their revenge mission. Giselle forgives her beloved one, Albrecht, and tries to save him from their revenge. The Wilis are one of the most iconic characters in Giselle — that is why the second act of the ballet is dedicated to them. It helps to understand their motivation and way of thinking, which is crucial for acknowledging the full play.
Dance is the most important way of expression used to tell the story. The solo parts related to the fantasy world include various flights, which give the impression of the characters soaring in the air. In the real-life-related parts, the dances are performed with increased emotionality and character.
I also would like to highlight the musical component of the ballet as a separate element, playing an important part in the plot and general impression of the audience. The music of Adam is not just a rhythmic accompaniment of dances: it is characterized by spirituality and poetry, it creates the mood and outlines the characters’ traits.
It is not surprising that Giselle is very popular among the visitors of the Estonian National Opera, thanks to its expressive, musical, and choreographic dramaturgy, romantic plot, brilliant parts of outstanding ballerinas, enchanting stage sets and costumes.
The next performances of Giselle take place on November 23, 2018, and on February 3 & 14, 2019: http://www.culture.ee/event/ballet-giselle/