Dutch National Ballet presents
Timeless ballet classic
Following worldwide acclaim from China to Spain to Colombia, Dutch National Ballet takes the ‘Hamlet of dance’ on tour in the Netherlands.
Giselle is one of the earliest and most widely danced ballets in the world. Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante’s recreation of this classic about doomed love cuts to the quick.
Giselle tells the story of what happens when Duke Albrecht falls in love with the innocent peasant girl Giselle. By concealing his true identity, he deceives her and dooms them both. In this reinterpretation, themes of deception, revenge and forgiveness are paired with true love. Duke Albrecht’s feelings for Giselle are sincere; he is overcome by her kindness and beauty, and when she discovers that he is already betrothed and dies of a broken heart, Albrecht is inconsolable. As a tale about an impossible love, the themes in Giselle are as current as ever.
Timeless as the Night Watch
Choreographed by Marius Petipa to music by Adolph Adam, Giselle is a Romantic masterpiece! In this version by Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante – with spectacular sets and costuming by Toer van Schayk – the classic is recreated in a way that both honours the ballet’s tradition and imbues it with significance and resonance for modern audiences. Above all, Beaujean and Bustamante wanted to emphasise the emotion and intensity of the narrative while preserving its artistic power. Beaujean: ‘The choreography, the composition of the dances, is phenomenal. Giselle never gets old. It is like the Night Watch – timeless.’
The peasant girl Giselle and Duke Albrecht are seminal roles in the ballet repertoire. Principal dancer Jozef Varga calls Albrecht ‘an “essential” role, one every dancer dreams of and hopes to make his own’. Giselle is a role perhaps even more coveted: ‘In the span of two acts her character takes a complete emotional journey, and that’s a challenge no ballerina can resist’, says principal dancer Anna Tsygankova.
Van Schayk’s brilliant set and costumes
For the visual and costume design of their new production of Giselle, Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante asked Toer van Schayk, longtime choreographer (The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and Requiem) and designer (Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet) at Dutch National Ballet. Though Beaujean and Bustamante initially had doubts when Van Schayk presented his set designs, which were more abstract and less ‘warm’ and open than the choreographers had envisioned, ten years after the première they are struck by their powerful simplicity.
Bustamante: ‘I had to learn to appreciate his designs, and it is only now that I realise how truly brilliant the sets are.’
Beaujean: ‘Some productions of Giselle I see abroad are brand-new yet already look dated. It never ceases to amaze me how Toer apparently is able to look ahead, to sense what will stand the test of time and abide.’
Marius Petipa, after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot
Production and additional choreography
Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante
Set and costume design
Toer van Schayk
James F. Ingalls
conducted by Ermanno Florio
Dutch Ballet Orchestra
Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands. Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality.
Dutch Ballet Orchestra combines music and dance into a magical experience: from classical ballet to modern dance, and from music education to talent development. The orchestra’s mission is to create an optimal synthesis between music and dance, in order to reach dance-lovers and ballet music enthusiasts, as well as children and youngsters.The orchestra has received several international awards for its educational projects, including the Young Audiences Music Award in 2016 for Creatures, a collaborative project with dance company ISH.
'Giselle is een ballet van onsterfelijke schoonheid, waar een meeslepend verhaal gepaard is aan betoverende ballettechniek’
'De 'zwevende' Giselle, de 'krachtige' Albrecht, de ‘wanhopige' Hilarion, de ‘ijzige' Myrtha en het corps de ballet, vertellen hier samen: het gaat om de liefde.'