Giselle is lauded as being among the greatest ballets ever written. Having premiered in 1841, it is one of those classic, gender-conforming romantic pieces that were all the rage at the time.
It’s fantastic: out with the dry set design, and in with the mystical celebration of women-power.
Boy meets girl in German village; they all show off their pretty little dances in their basic costumes in front of the nobles – that kind of thing. At the end of the first act, the main soloist Giselle dies of a weak heart after finding out her beau wasn’t really who he said he was. So far, so tame.
But the second act is where things get really interesting. Cue ghosts of women betrayed by men forcing the men to dance until they die of exhaustion. It’s fantastic: out with the dry set design, and in with the mystical celebration of women-power.
All up, this is a lot of fun, and the ballet is easy and accessible to follow. Worth seeing if your parents are in town, perhaps, but probably not one to bring your Gender Studies mates along to. ★★★
- Oct 12, 14, 22 Staatsoper, Mitte. D: Patrice Bart