It’s been 174 years since this ballet premiered in Paris and audiences are still captivated by its story. Giselle is a love story turned tragedy that led audiences through a magical set full of emotions.
Act one takes place in Rhineland Village and focuses on Giselle, performed by Jo-Ann Sundermeier, falling in love with Albrecht, performed by Liang Xing, who is a local Count disguised as a simple villager named Loys. Both the acting and dancing was on que with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, which added the drama to make the story come alive. The costumes, set and solos were both pleasant and warm.
Contrast that to act two, which had a haunted, enchanted set and style. The sorrow and power from the dancers, Sundermeier and Xing, gave the act a longing feeling that the lovers would be united again. The white costumes with white veils over the dancers faces at the beginning commanded attention.
The audience was in for a treat when former Pricipal dancer of 30 years, Evelyn Hart, returned to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for this production. She graced the stage with her powerful and effortless presence as she portrayed the role of Giselle’s mother, Berthe.
Giselle is a must see ballet for people who love and appreciate talented dancers, enjoy a setting change that makes you feel like you’re in a new world, and who will be dreaming of flower petals for days after.