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11 April 2023 (Tue), 19:00 Brilliant Classical Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre (established 1887, founded by Stanislavsky) - Classical Ballet Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Ballet in 2 acts)

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (till 21:30)

The performance has 1 intermission

Schedule for Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Ballet in 2 acts) 2022

Composer: Adolphe Adam
Designer: Vladimir Arefiev
Choreography: Marius Petipa
Choreography: Jean Coralli
Choreography: Jules Perrot

Orchestra: Stanislavsky theatre symphony orchestra
Ballet company: Stanislavsky ballet

Classical Ballet in 2 act

Premiere of this production: 23 March 1991, Stanislavsky Ballet and Opera theatre, Moscow, Russia

Libretto by Theophile Gautier and Jean-Henry Saint-Georges
Choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Mauris Petipa
Revised version by Tatiana Legat

"Giselle" is one of the most romantic tales about love. The ballet is based on the ancient tale about girls died before their weddings (so called wilis).


Act I

A small, peaceful village, bathed in sunlight. It is inhabited by simple, artless people. Giselle, a young peasant girl, is re­joicing in the sun, the blue sky, the singing of the birds and, most of all, in the happiness of pure, trusting love which has lit up her life. She is in love and is confident that she is loved. The gamekeeper, who is in love with Giselle, tries in vain to per­suade her that Albert, her loved one, is not a peasant at all but a nobleman in disguise and that he is deceiving her.

The gamekeeper manages to steal into the cottage which Albert is renting in the village and here he finds a silver sword with a coat of arms on it. Now the gamekeeper knows for sure that Albert is concealing his noble origins.

A party of distinguished noblemen, attended by a sumptuous suite, seek rest and refreshment in the village after the hunt. The peasants give their guests a cordial welcome.

Albert is embarrassed by this unexpected meeting: he tries to hide the fact he knows them for, in their company, is his betrothed, Bathilde. Meanwhile the gamekeeper shows everyone Albert’s sword and, unmasking him, tells them of the latter’s deceit. Giselle is shocked to the core by the perfidy of her loved one. The pure, crystal-clear world of her faith, hopes and dreams has been destroyed. She goes mad and dies.

Act II

Night-time. The ghostly forms of the Wilis, died brides, appear among the graves of the village church yard which is bathed in moonlight. "Dressed in bridal gowns and garlands of flow­ers…The irresistibly beautiful Wilis danced to the light of the moon. And as they felt the time given them for dancing was running out and that they had again to return to their icy graves, their dancing became more and more impassioned and ra­pid…" (Heinrich Heine).

The Wilis catch sight of the gamekeeper who, suffering from pangs of con­science, has come to visit Giselle’s grave. At the command of Mirta, the unrelenting Queen of the Wilis, the Wilis encircle the gamekeeper and make him dance until he drops lifeless, to the ground.

Albert too, is unable to forget Giselle. And, at dead of night, he co­mes to her grave. The Wilis immedi­ately encircle the youth. Albert is now threatened by the same horrify­ing fate as the gamekeeper. But the shadow of Giselle now appears and her eternal and self-sacrificing love protects and saves Albert from the anger of the Wilis.

The ghostly, white forms of the Wilis vanish with the first rays of the rising sun. And Giselle’s ethereal shadow va­nishes too, but Giselle will always be alive in Albert’s memory - the ever-present regret for a lost love, a love that is stronger than death.

Additional information

  • Characters and performers

    Schedule for Adolphe Adam "Giselle" (Ballet in 2 acts) 2022

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