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OCTOBER 6 at 7:00pm
OCTOBER 7 AT 7:00pm
OCTOBER 8 AT 2:30pm
Saint Louis Ballet + LIVE MUSIC with CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS
Music by Adolphe Adam
Choreography and Production Conceived by Gen Horiuchi
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes plus 20 minute intermission
Seduction. Deception. Madness!
This masterwork of the 19th century is technically difficult and wildly emotional. Love has gone all wrong and Giselle’s music, choreography, extraordinary costumes and sets transport you to a magical world where spectral maidens, a vengeful queen and a peasant girl embody heartbreaking loss and triumphant forgiveness.
Saint Louis Ballet’s artistic and technical growth in recent years is exemplified in this magical and ghostly ballet, performed by the world’s great ballet companies. With live accompaniment by the talented Chamber Music Society of Saint Louis.
Saint Louis Ballet is grateful to the many individuals who support live music for the ballet through their contributions. Make a contribution here.
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Seduction. Deception. Madness!
Act I - A rustic village
Giselle, a weak-hearted young girl who is adored by her native villagers, lives with her watchful mother, Berthe. Hilarion, the village gamekeeper, is desperately in love with Giselle. Albrecht, a nobleman who is already engaged to a noblewoman named Bathilde, is bored and lonely with his everyday existence. Captivated by Giselle’s frail beauty and innocence, Albrecht disguises himself as a peasant named Loys. After purchasing the cottage adjacent to Berthe’s, he proceeds to shower Giselle with his affections.
Hilarion, filled with suspicion and jealousy, becomes enraged when Giselle falls madly in love with Albrecht and believes that they are engaged.
Berthe has a vision that her daughter will one day become a Wili, a jilted maiden who dies before her wedding night. The Wilis emerge between midnight and dawn to vengefully trap any man who enters their domain by forcing him to dance to his death.
Hilarion exposes Albrecht’s disguise and proclaims that he is already betrothed to Bathilde. Overwhelmingly distraught and horrified, Giselle dies of a broken heart.
Act II - Giselle’s grave in the forest
Hilarion is discovered just before midnight keeping vigil by Giselle’s tomb. As midnight approaches, the Wilis appear with their leader, Queen Myrtha. This is the night Giselle is to be initiated as a Wili.
Albrecht, laden with feelings of guilt and remorse, visits Giselle’s grave. He sees a vision of Giselle and follows it into the forest. At this point, Myrtha discovers Hilarion in the forest and orders the Wilis to dance around him until he dies from exhaustion. She then discovers Albrecht and demands that he share the same fate as Hilarion but is unable to permeate the invisible bond of love that Giselle has for him.
At dawn, when the Wilis lose their power and must retreat to their dwelling place, Albrecht is saved and Giselle forgives him. Giselle returns with the Wilis and recognizes that now she will be one of them for the rest of time.
Chamber Music Society of Saint Louis, under the baton of Darwin Aquino, will accompany the dancers with the score composed by Adolphe Adam. The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch in 2019 called their playing “instrumental brilliance”. Many are members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Conductor, Darwin Aquino