Giselle Through History

Aug 06 2015 | Posted in Blog

​Hailed as one of the greatest of all ballets and a supreme achievement of the Romantic era, Giselle has captivated audiences worldwide since its premiere in Paris in 1841. Giselle is often referred to as the Hamlet of ballet due to the complexity of the title character.

Set in the twilight spirit world of the Wilis, the German legend tells the story of a young peasant girl’s love for a nobleman and her ultimate betrayal at his hands. Giselle’s heartbreak and despair lead to her tragic demise, but she and the other jilted village girls seek their revenge from beyond the grave as irresistible spirits of a deathly dance.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet first performed an excerpt from Giselle in 1966, and introduced the full length ballet to the RWB repertoire in 1982. We’ve taken Giselle to cities all across the continent, including Kansas, Vancouver, Calgary, Texas, and Edmonton, as well as to Edinburgh, Scotland and the 14th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria.

Evelyn Hart and John Kaminski, 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart and John Kaminski, 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart in Mad Scene Act I 1982
Evelyn Hart in Mad Scene Act I 1982
Evelyn Hart and Henny Jurriens 1982
Evelyn Hart and Henny Jurriens 1982
Evelyn Hart and Henny Jurriens 1982
Evelyn Hart and Henny Jurriens 1982
David Peregrine 1982
David Peregrine 1982
John Kaminski 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
John Kaminski 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart, Patti Caplette and Company 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart, Patti Caplette and Company 1982 – photographed by David Cooper
Baxter Branstetter and Margaret Slota 1982 – photographed by KRG Stills
Baxter Branstetter and Margaret Slota 1982 – photographed by KRG Stills
Evelyn Hart and Jean Charles Gil 1985 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart and Jean Charles Gil 1985 – photographed by David Cooper
Svea Eklof with RWB Company Dancers, 1985
Svea Eklof with RWB Company Dancers, 1985
Svea Eklof 1985 –photographed by Paul Martens
Svea Eklof 1985 –photographed by Paul Martens
John Kaminski and Julie Whittaker 1985 – photographed by David Cooper
John Kaminski and Julie Whittaker 1985 – photographed by David Cooper
Valerie Nelson and André Lewis 1985 – photographed by KRG Stills
Valerie Nelson and André Lewis 1985 – photographed by KRG Stills
Evelyn Hart and Patti Caplette 1988 – photographed by David Cooper
Evelyn Hart and Patti Caplette 1988 – photographed by David Cooper
Laura Graham and Stephen Hyde performing Giselle Pas de Deux at the 14th International Ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria 1990
Laura Graham and Stephen Hyde performing Giselle Pas de Deux at the 14th International Ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria 1990
Evelyn Hart and Jorden Morris in Edinburgh, Scotland October 1991 – photographed by Allan McCrone
Evelyn Hart and Jorden Morris in Edinburgh, Scotland October 1997 – photographed by Allan McCrone
Evelyn Hart and Johnny Chang 2001
Evelyn Hart and Johnny Chang 2001

Vanessa Lawson and RWB Company Dancers, 2012
Vanessa Lawson and RWB Company Dancers, 2012
Jo-Ann Sundermeier with RWB Company Dancers, 2012
Jo-Ann Sundermeier with RWB Company Dancers, 2012
RWB Company Dancers Yayoi Ban and Liang Xing, 2015
RWB Company Dancers Yayoi Ban and Liang Xing, 2015

Giselle returns to the stage Sept 30 - Oct 04, 2015. Experience this breathtaking journey of Giselle’s heart-wrenching tale of love, contrition and forgiveness.

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