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Bolshoi Ballet season starts with 'Giselle' on Sunday

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Giselle, a classic of the Romantic Age is at the Palace Cineplex on Sunday, showing at 11:30 a.m.

The Bolshoi Ballet returns to the Cineplex for the 2015 - 2016 season, captured live via satellite from Moscow in vivid HD. Audiences will enjoy seven performances of exceptional titles and classics, including Giselle, Jewels, The Nutcracker, Lady of the Camellias, The Taming of the Shrew, Don Quixote and Spartacus.

The greatest names of the ballet world will take on the Moscow stage, such as Svetlana Zakharova, David Hallberg, Olga Smirnova, Vladislav Lantratov, Denis Rodkin and Mikhail Lobukhin, along with the Bolshoi corps deballet.

Giselle (also known as The Wilis) is a romantic ballet in two acts written by two Frenchmen, dramatist Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and poet/ novelist Theophile Gautier. The writers based Giselle on two works - a short passage from Heinrich Heine's essay De l'Allemagne where he describes the Slavic legend of The Wilis, affianced maidens who die before their wedding day, and Victor Hugo's poem Fantomes (Phantom).

Heine was a radical German, poet, essayist and journalist who lived in exile in French during the Nazi years. He is perhaps best known today because one of his works inspired Giselle. Victor Hugo is considered one of the greatest and best-known French writers. Among his most celebrated works are Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.


great romantic themes


The ballet was first performed in Paris in 1841 at the Theatre de l'Academie Royale de Musique. It was a great success and was staged in quick succession by other ballet companies in Europe, Russia and the United States.

The romantic ballet is one of the oldest and greatest in classical repertoire, touching upon the great romantic themes - a doomed love affair ending in tragedy, a dive into fantasy and ultimate redemption through the power of love.

The story is set in Germany during the Renaissance. Giselle, a peasant girl, falls in love with Albrecht, a nobleman pretending to be a peasant boy. Giselle is shocked to discover Albrecht is going to marry the princess Bathilde. Her heart breaks, she goes insane and dies.

One night she rises from her grave. She wants to protect Albrecht from the Wilis, the ghostly spirits of dead girls which force men to dance to their deaths.

Yuri Grigorovich choreographs and the cast includes Svetlana Zakharova (Giselle), Sergei Polunin (Albrecht), Ekaterina Shipulina (Myrtha), Denis Savin (Hans), Daria Khokhlova/Igor Tsvirko and The Bolshoi's corps de ballet.

Encore performances of the 2015 - 2016 season of the Bolshoi Ballet, captured live from Moscow, are now showing at Palace Cineplex at the Sovereign Centre, Liguanea, St Andrew. Tickets are on sale at the box offices and via the web at, with a Palace Card.