Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Story of Giselle

Tonight, we have tickets to see Giselle performed by the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre group. We love the ballet and haven’t seen this particular one in many years.



I researched Giselle to refresh my memory of it. Giselle is a ballet in 2 acts, 2 scenes. It was first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on June 28, 1841. Don’t you just love the historical context?


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First Act

Giselle, an innocent village maiden falls in love with a man she knows only as Loys. Actually, he is the nobleman Prince Albrecht disguised as a peasant and betrothed to another. Giselle discovers his deceit and, heartbroken, dies.


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Second Act

Giselle is about to be initiated as a Wili, a jilted maiden who dies before her wedding night. Wilis are vengeful ghosts who emerge between midnight and dawn to trap any man who enters their domain by forcing him to dance to his death. They must return to their graves at sunrise.

At the initiation, Myrtha (Queen of the wicked Wilis) forces Albrecht to dance again and again. Giselle intervenes to allow him to survive until dawn and shows Albrecht she forgives him. They pledge their love to each other but will forever be separated as Giselle is now a Wili for the rest of eternity and must return to her grave


Fair maidens, noblemen in disguise, wicked queens, unrequited love, and evil wraiths—what a story! Now I know where the term “it gives me the willies” originates. I hope you are free of any Wilis this beautiful weekend!

13 comments:

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Have a wonderful time! It sounds fabulous :-)

Inspired Tokens said...

I love the post....have a great time at the ballet!

Scrappy Jessi said...

oohh have a wonderful time! i love the ballet!
jessi

Lilli said...

My, my! What a bizarre story. Probably makes for some great choreography, though. Enjoy!

Bean said...

Giselle was the first and last ballet performance I'ver ever seen, haha! I can't say I'm much for sitting still and listening to the tip-tapping of tiny toes ;)

I love the etymology of words/phrases though - wilis were originally 'vila', a serbo-croatian word, meaning the same thing -- a wood-nymph or fairy, usually the spirit of a betrothed girl who died after being jilted by her lover.

Pat said...

This ballet is beautiful!Hope you had a wonderful time!
This was a nice idea -- my husband and I have tickets to see an opera on Monday -- I'll write about that in my blog on Monday. Thanks, June.

Storybook Woods said...

Wow, what a beautiful set, I bet it will be wonderful. Clarice

Abbie said...

Oh, it sounds just divine! I haven't been to live a performance in so long! Enjoy!!
xoxo..

Robyn said...

Have a wonderful time...truly love ballet!
Hugs,
Robyn

denice said...

What a pretty blog you have! So glad I found you... I hope you thoroughly enjoyed the ballet. :)

Rosemary said...

I love that one too!! One of my favorites!! I use to teach ballet.
Hope you had a wonderful time.
Rosemary

Kari & Kijsa said...

Looks and sounds beautiful! Have a lovely time!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Anonymous said...

i love giselle too i am performing it in april