Traditional after Coralli & Perrot / Adam

Love, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption – Giselle. The world-renowned Miami City Ballet begins its 16/17 season on Friday, October 21st performing one of the most beloved and inspiring ballets of all time.

Giselle is the haunting tale of a doomed affair with tragic consequences, and one woman’s love triumphing over fate. Originally created in 1841, the ballet has mesmerized audiences the world over for more than a century with its timeless romantic themes.

Join us one hour prior to curtain for Behind the Ballet, a chance to meet the members of the MCB artistic staff – dancers, choreographers, répétiteurs, conductors and musicians – for a lively discussion and question-and-answer session about the ballet.

Friday, Nov. 11: There will be no pre-performance talk on opening night.
Saturday, Nov. 12
 at 1 pm: Dancers Tricia Albertson and Michael Sean Breeden
Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7 pm: Dancers Michael Sean Breeden and Lauren Fadeley
Sunday, Nov. 13 at 12 pm: Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez and Executive Director Michael Scolamiero

Perhaps the most cherished of all 19th-century ballets, Giselle, created in 1841, has never lost its preeminence in the repertory. One reason among many: Every ballerina wants to dance it! And just about every great ballerina in history has danced it – from Pavlova to Ulanova, Fonteyn, Alonso, Kirkland, Makarova and so many more.

And why not? In Act One the ballerina gets to be a naïve, loving peasant girl who is betrayed by Albrecht, her aristocrat lover, and has a harrowing mad scene before dying. In Act Two she’s a ghostly Wili, raised from her tomb to join her spectral sisters in driving inconstant men to their death – only to defy the Wilis and use the power of her love to save Albrecht from his doom. Act One demands earthly romantic charm and dramatic intensity; Act Two demands incorporeal purity concealing steely classical technique.

One of Giselle’s fascinations lies in the contrast between the highly human story of one act and the supernatural nature of the other. Yet there is a deep theme that binds the two acts together: the power of dance itself. Giselle is a girl who simply loves to dance but is constantly restrained by her mother’s concern about her weak heart – the heart that gives out at the climax of Act One.

And in Act Two, the faithless men are forced by Myrthe, the implacable Queen of the Wilis, to dance on and on until they die.

Giselle, with its wonderful score by Adolphe Adam, is the ultimate ballet statement about the centrality of dance to life.

Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot

Adolphe Adam

Gianni Quaranta

Anna Anni

John Hall