© Olly Berry

Duchy Ballets Giselle - and a new work, Jubilation!

In an idyllic village Hilarion pays a visit to Giselle's cottage to leave behind a bouquet of fresh flowers in the early morning. Hilarion has been secretly in love with Giselle for quite some time.

Before Giselle steps out of her cottage the Duke of Silesia has made his way into the village upon which his castle overlooks. The handsome Duke is supposed to marry Princess Bathilde, however he spotted Giselle several days prior and, hoping to win her love, disguises himself as a peasant.

While disguised, the Duke introduces himself as Loys to Giselle who is immediately drawn to him and falls deeply in love. When Hilarion returns, he warns her not to trust the stranger so willingly, but she doesn't listen. Berthe, Giselle's mother, doesn't approve of Giselle's infatuation with the stranger.

Hilarion returns with information about the stranger, Loys. Hilarion produces the Duke's sword and horn. Giselle pieces together the Duke's lies, and even puts the Duke's sword to her own heart. Tragically, Giselles weak heart fails her and she falls to the ground and dies.

Hilarion visits Giselle's grave and mourns her death. As he weeps, the Wilis (vengeful female spirits who died abandoned on their wedding days) rise from their shallow graves at night to haunt and kill men. Hilarion runs back to the village. Meanwhile, the Duke has ventured out into the dark night in search of Giselle's grave. The Wilis raise Giselle's spirit when the Duke draws near. The spirits disappear and the Duke is reunited with Giselle. Even in the after life, she still loves him and is quick to forgive him.

Hilarion unable to escape The Wilis torment is chased into a nearby lake and drowns. The evil spirits then turn toward the Duke and they are determined to kill him as well. Myrtha the Wilis Queen, emerges and showing no mercy forces him to dance without stopping. Giselle reappears and protects the man she loves until the sun rises and the Wilis return to their graves. Giselle has rejected the vengeful spirits and not only saves the Duke's life, she manages to save her own eternal life. She returns to her grave in peace without ever having to rise at night to hunt down the lives of men.


Our Principals for the 2012 Performance of Giselle were:-

Phillip Velinov

Phillip Velinov

Born in Bulgaria’s capital, Phillip started his training at the State Choreographic School in Sofia and later transferred to the Alabama School of Fine Arts on a full scholarship. Upon graduation, he joined the Alabama Ballet and later won the first full performing arts scholarship in the 150-year history of Birmingham-Southern College completing a B.A. with honors in Dance.

Louisville Ballet »

Natalia Ashikhmina

Natalia Ashikhmina

Born in Bratsk, Russia, Natalia graduated from the world-renowned Novosibirsk Ballet Academy studying under Tatiana Sulimova and Tatiana Kapustina. She accepted Vyacheslav Gordeyev's invitation and became the youngest prima ballerina of the Russian National Ballet in Moscow where she worked with Andrey Kudeline and partnered with Yuri Burlaka.

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