The Performing Arts Center will present the St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre performing Giselle on Feb. 27 in the Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available ($29-$34) at the box office in the Performing Arts Center.
The full-length story ballet Giselle was first performed at the Paris Opera on June 28, 1841, with a score by French composer Adolph Adam. It was the first ballet score to use all new composition and it enjoyed immediate success, leading to international performances beginning in London in 1842 and Milan in 1843. The original Paris production was choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Marius Petipa remounted a production in Russia in 1850 under Perrot’s supervision, and over the next 40 years Petipa made his own revisions. The St. Petersburg State Ballet’s production of Giselle incorporates choreography from Coralli, Perrot and Petipa.
The ballet tells the story of a peasant girl, Giselle, who has fallen in love with Count Albrecht. The count has led Giselle to believe that he is a villager named Loys, but Giselle’s mother tries to discourage her daughter from marrying Loys, hoping that Giselle will marry the forester, Hilarion. Giselle’s mother recounts the legend of the Wilis, ghosts of young girls who have been jilted and die before their wedding day; to avenge themselves, the Wilis dance to death any man who crosses their path between midnight and dawn. In the end, Giselle’s love transcends death in the grandest tradition of romantic ballet.
The St. Petersburg State Ballet Theatre is under the leadership of artistic director Yuri Petkhov, who has been honored with the title People’s Artist of Russia.
A pre-concert lecture will be given in the Balcony Theatre, located upstairs in the Fine Arts Building. The lecture begins 45 minutes prior to the performance and is free to the public.