12 Oct-19 Nov ’23


Dutch National Opera & Ballet , Main Stage + Tour

Running time

2:15, incl. 1 interval


From € 27


Romantic classic

In 2009, Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante created their own new version of what is probably the most romantic production in the classical ballet repertoire. Their successful interpretation of Giselle conquered not only the hearts of Dutch audiences, but also those of spectators in countries like Spain, China and Colombia. Beaujean says, “If it’s presented well, Giselle goes much further than skin-deep.”

Photo: Marta Syrko

Romantic classic

The ‘original’ version of Giselle dates from the heyday of Romanticism, but the ballet is still danced all over the world today. Associate artistic director Rachel Beaujean, who this season is celebrating twenty years as the head of Dutch National Ballet’s artistic staff, says, “Iconic ballets like Giselle and Raymonda are essential works for measuring up as a company on the international scene. Just like the Rembrandts are essential to the identity of the Rijksmuseum, for us these ballets are our heritage. Giselle is our Night Watch, as it were.”


Relevant to all times and cultures

The theme of Giselle, impossible love, is relevant to all times and cultures. The main character, Giselle, believes she has found her true love in Albrecht, but he is not the person she thought he was. Even worse, he is engaged to someone else. Albrecht’s love for Giselle has fatal consequences, but even in death Giselle is still capable of love and forgiveness.


Ethereal beauty

Along with former ballet star Ricardo Bustamante, Beaujean breathed new life into Giselle, so that the ballet still fascinates and moves today’s audiences. Nevertheless, respect for tradition is a priority in their adaptation, and the same applies to the beautiful set and costume designs by Toer van Schayk. Beaujean says, “Giselle has no sell-by date. The choreographic composition remains phenomenal.” Bustamante adds, “The second act has such an ethereal beauty that even people who’ve never seen a ballet before can be totally hypnotised by it.”


Choreography  Marius Petipa, after Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot 
Production and additional choreography  Rachel Beaujean and Ricardo Bustamante 
Set and costume design  Toer van Schayk
Music  Adolphe Adam

Musical accompaniment  Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Ermanno Florio / second conductor during the tour Nathan Brock

Giselle is our Night Watch, as it were’

Order tickets

Ticket sales for performances at venues other than Dutch National Opera & Ballet can be purchased from the theatre in question.

The matinee performance on 5 November will feature an audio description, making it extra accessible for the blind and visually impaired. 

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Dutch National Ballet (2015) - Wili's | Photo: Angela Sterling
two ballerinas in long tutus
Dutch National Ballet (2015) - Wili's | Photo: Angela Sterling
At court
Dutch National Ballet (2015) - in the village with nobles | Photo: Angela Sterling
Dutch National Ballet (2020) | Photo: Marc Haegeman
In the village
Dutch National Ballet - Giselle in the village| Photo: Marc Haegeman
Dutch National Ballet (2020) | Photo: Marc Haegeman

The Story of Giselle - an animation

Scène from the performance with Giselle and count
the orchestra with ballet dancers in the background

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra’s mission is ‘to inspire movement in dance’. Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Led by principal conductor Matthew Rowe, Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. The orchestra accompanies performances ranging from traditional ballet to modern dance, alongside its activities in music education and talent development.

Besides performances with Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long tradition of innovative – and award-winning – family performances. For instance, Creatures (in collaboration with ISH Dance Collective) received the international Young Audiences Music Award, and the production Hansel and Gretel (in collaboration with Orkater) won various Musical Awards. In these productions, the musicians play from memory, without a conductor and in costumes, so that they form an integral part of the performance.

And finally, Dutch Ballet Orchestra has a long-term partnership with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. They are therefore involved in the music curriculum for pupils and students, facilitate student visits to orchestra rehearsals and provide music for the academy’s end-of-year performance, where possible.

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