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Run time: 2hrs 00min, 1 intermission
Considered the quintessential Romantic ballet, Giselle has remained a standard in the classical repertory since its premiere in 1841 in Paris. The story is based on a legend in which the ghosts of unmarried girls seek revenge on the living. The ballet’s combination of dramatic acting, virtuoso technique and ethereal beauty continues to mesmerize audiences around the world.
French composer Adolphe Adam (1803 –1856) was a popular writer of ballet and opera music, producing over 80 operatic stage works in the course of his career. Today he is best known for his ballets Giselle (1841) and Le corsaire (1856), and the Christmas carol Minuit, chrétiens! (1844), later set to different English lyrics and widely sung as "O Holy Night".
Jean Coralli (1779 – 1854) and Jules Perrot (1810 –1892) choreographed the original version of Giselle. It is, however, Marius Petipa’s revival of Giselle from the 1884 that has become the “traditional” version.
Librettists Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges (1799 –1875) and Théophile Gautier (1811 –1872) took their inspiration for the scenario from Heinrich Heine’s De l'Allemagne, and from Victor Hugo’s poem Fantômes.