This performance was to be seen in February 2020


Nationale Opera & Ballet, Grote Zaal

Running time

2:05, 1 break



Balletdancer in a white tutu, blue lighting

Captivating ballet classic

Giselle is both one of the most romantic works in the classical ballet repertoire as well as among the most demanding, calling for the soloists to cultivate a profound dramatic and emotional empathy with the characters.

Captivating ballet classic


Giselle is one of the earliest ballets and still popular around the globe. With its lively, colourful opening act, gripping Mad Scene and ensuing unearthly pure White Act, the ballet has become a fixture in the romantic-classical repertoire. Since its première in 1841, the story of love, deception, betrayal and forgiveness has given rise to countless interpretations. Dutch National Ballet has previously staged versions by the Russian Natalia Orlovskaja and British Sir Peter Wright. In 2009 it got its ‘own’ production, created by Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante, which has captured the hearts of ballet enthusiasts from China to Colombia.

Woman in a white tutu, surrounded by other women

More than skin-deep

In their adaptation, Beaujean and Bustamante ‘revitalised’ the scenes to make them more engaging and meaningful for twenty-first century audiences, while still honouring the ballet's tradition. The same applies to the stunning set and costume designs by Toer van Schayk. Above all, Beaujean and Bustamante seek to emphasise the narrative emotion and intensity, because: ‘When done right, Giselle goes more than skin-deep.’

Impossible love

Giselle tells the story of a duke who falls in love with an innocent peasant girl and, by concealing his true identity, deceives her and ultimately dooms them both. As a tale about an impossible love, the themes in Giselle are as current as ever, and so, too, is the artistic eloquence of this new production. Beaujean: ‘The choreography, the composition of the dances, is phenomenal. Giselle never gets old. It is like the Night Watch – timeless.’

Rachel Beaujean

Rachel Beaujean co-created Giselle with Ricardo Bustamante following her earlier adaptations of Les Sylphides and Paquita. This is her first full-length production. As a dancer with Dutch National Ballet for twenty years, Beaujean made her reputation as Hans van Manen's muse. After her dance career she became the company’s ballet master, and in 2003 was appointed head of the artistic staff. At her fortieth anniversary with the company (a first in the Dutch dance world!) in 2017 Beaujean was promoted to associate artistic director of Dutch National Ballet and was also made an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau.

Dutch National Ballet will perform Giselle again in season 2023/2024. More information and tickets can be found via the link below:


Man and woman