Giselle is considered to be one of the most important ballets in the history of the romantic genre: rare in the history of ballets, Giselle still continues to be performed for over 180 years. Many choreographers had been attriubuted for the choreography of Giselle, there is not even an unanimous opinion of who exactly prepared the Parisian premiere in 1841: tradition attributes authorship to Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Despite its initial success, by the end of the 19th century, the romantic story about “wilis” — the vindictive ghosts of girls who died before the wedding and who love to dance — began to seem naive and not spectacular, and was dropped from the repertoire.
The only company to perform Giselle at this time remained the Maryinsky ballet, where the ballet was staged by Marius Petipa. In 1910, this version was shown in Paris by the entrepreneur Sergei Diaghilev, symbolically returning Giselle to its homeland — and to the world repertoire. Since then, the ballet is continually performed internationally and its production is customarily accredited to three directors — Coralli, Perrot and Petipa.
In Ekaterinburg, the ballet has been revived in its original version. What in the “old Giselle" attracts the public to today? A story of sincere, but deceived love. The ballet comprises two contrasting acts: reality and the world of ghostly spectres. The charm of the old style genre and the ideal artistic order of dance ensembles. Finally, the opportunity and challenges to the dancers, both in dance and drama: as far as ballets are concerned, Giselle is considered as difficult and valued as highly as in the dramatic theatre – the role of Hamlet.