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?
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.
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!