For six performances only Birmingham Royal Ballet will return to the Grand Opera House Belfast from Wednesday 26 June to Saturday 29 June 2013. The company will perform its renowned production of Giselle marking Birmingham Royal Ballet’s welcome return to Belfast. The Birmingham based company last performed at the Grand Opera House in 2008 with the classic Swan Lake and in 2009 with the much-loved Cyrano.
Giselle epitomises 19th Century romantic ballet and the production by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Director David Bintley and former ballerina Galina Samsova, promises to enchant Belfast theatre audiences, dance aficionados and those new to the ballet art-form. Giselle, a two-act ballet, stands alongside Coppélia and Swan Lake as one of the most celebrated of all classical ballets.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s company of over 60 international dancers, plus technicians, lighting staff, stage management, a busy and dynamic wardrobe team, a wig master and a shoe master, plus 48 musicians of The Royal Ballet Sinfonia, the UK’s busiest ballet orchestra, will travel to Belfast to entertain audiences with their collection of skill, precision, quality and theatrical verve.
The timeless story of Giselle takes place in a village deep in the mountains where two young people, Giselle and Loys, are deeply in love. But Loys has not been truthful with his beloved. He is actually Count Albrecht, son of the local lord, and is already betrothed to Bathilde, a lady, and his social equal. When jealous Hilarion, a rival for Giselle’s hand, proves who Loys really is, and Bathilde arrives to claim her fiancé, the heartbreak is too much to bear. Driven mad by despair, Giselle takes her own life. After her funeral, a sorrowful Albrecht visits her grave, but it is night and he is in terrible danger. The bitter ghosts of jilted brides rise and condemn him to dance himself to death. Only Giselle’s love, powerful enough to reach from beyond the grave, can save him; she must keep him safe until dawn breaks and he can escape, but dawn is many hours away…
The lead role of Giselle is one of the most sought-after in the ballet arena and only the most accomplished ballerinas dance the demanding role. Technical perfection and outstanding grace and lyricism, as well as great dramatic skill, are needed for the role of Giselle.
The Giselle score is by Adolphe Adam, one of the 19th-century’s great ballet composers. David Bintley and Galina Samsova’s stunning production is clad in gorgeous designs by the late Hayden Griffin and stays true to the classical spirit and steps of the original. Hayden Griffin designed for many opera, ballet and theatre productions all over the world and Giselle was not his first collaboration with Bintley. The relationship started with Still Life’ at the Penguin Café and was followed by collaborations for the full-length ballet works of Cyrano, Hobson’s Choice and Far from the Madding Crowd.