One of the most dramatic ballets that a ballerina can be privileged enough to dance in, and also one of the most exhausting roles.
It’s a story of love so strong that it causes a girl’s madness and death.
It also causes her to rise from the grave and save the man who wronged her.
Giselle is a peasant girl who falls in love with Albrecht, a teasing prince.
When she finds out that she’s been led on, she dies of grief.
In the second act, Albrecht visits her grave to beg her forgiveness.
Giselle has become one with the Wilis, the souls of girls who died from grief and heartache.
The Wilis capture Albrecht, and they command him to dance until he dies of exhaustion.
Giselle pleads for him and dances in his place until the sun comes up and the Wilis must return to their graves.
It is one of the most poignant roles I’ve danced.
It demands the utmost energy and acting ability, because even when Giselle is dancing strenuously difficult parts, the ballerina must make it look like she’s a spirit floating lightly on air.
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