Akram Khan’s Giselle- A Revered Ballet Classic Reimagined (Part I)
Giselle is one of the great classic ballets from the romantic era. It was first performed in Paris 1841. The ballet is about a peasant girl named Giselle, who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of mystic and supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave. Her lover Albrecht falls into their trap, but Giselle’s great love frees him from their grasp.
The role of Giselle is a coveted role of all ballerinas as it provides the dancer with many technical and dramatic challenges, from the character’s early love to her poignant descent into madness and her final gesture of forgiveness from beyond the grave. All the great ballet prima donnas from Anna Pavlova to Missy Copeland have danced the role.
One of the most notable productions of Giselle in history is probably the 1962 version with Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev. Firstly, because it was Nureyev’s first performance since his defection from Russia and secondly because of the electrifying chemistry between the two ballet legends.
The KLIAF is honoured to bring the cinematic version of Akram Khan’s Giselle to Malaysia for the first time, in collaboration with KL DanceWorks. Filmed live at the Liverpool Empire in October 2017, the movie, directed by Ross Mc Gibbon, had its premiere in April 2018.
Part II of this post can be found at https://www.diversecity.my/?p=489&preview=true