CAROLINA BALLET TO PREMIERE NEW GISELLE TO CLOSE 15th ANNIVERSARY SEASON
RALEIGH, NC — Over the first fourteen seasons, artistic director Robert Weiss has choreographed many of the great classic ballets to fit his company, Carolina Ballet – such ballets as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet – now he has taken on one of the most romantic ballets of all time, Giselle, to present to Triangle area audiences May 16-19 and May 23, 2013. The production will be performed at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh and at DPAC in Durham. The schedule of performances is as follows:
Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 16, 17 & 18 at 8:00pm
Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19 at 2:00pm
Thursday, May 23 at 8:00pm
Frances Mason in the book 101 stories of the Great Ballets writes about the importance of Giselle in the classical canon this way – “it is not only important historically, it also happens to be good. It is just as popular today as when it was first performed, more than 130 years ago. People go to see Giselle and to see new ballerinas dance it for the same reason we go to see new interpretations of Hamlet: the work is such a good one that we always discover something in it we hadn’t seen before, some variation in performance that brings out an aspect that seemed previously concealed; we learn something new.” He goes on to say that “Giselle combines innovation with drama and dancing that make us forget all about history. Giselle’s innovation is its summing up of what we know as the Romantic ballet. To be romantic about something is to see what you are and to wish for something entirely different. This requires magic.”
Giselle was first choreographed by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli to music by Adolphe Adam and presented in Paris in 1841. The version we know today was choreographed by Marius Petipa in St Petersburg in 1884 and it is this version that Diaghilev presented to Europe in 1911. Robert Weiss is staying with the Petipa choreography with a few modifications to accommodate the size of his company. Former Carolina Ballet principal dancer Melissa Podcasy and Ballet Master Marin Boieru, who danced the roles of Giselle and Albrecht together on many occasions, coached the three principal couples (Margaret Severin-Hansen / Gabor Kapin; Lilyan Vigo / Richard Krusch; and Jan Burkhard / Marcelo Martinez) in preparation for the Raleigh premiere. The scenery and costumes are from Florence, Italy, again with alterations and additions by Carolina Ballet’s design team of Jeff A. R. Jones (scenery) and Kerri Martinsen (costumes).
In speaking about Giselle, artistic director Robert Weiss says “If there were one ballet that would be considered by balletomanes to be more important than all the others it would be Giselle,” says Weiss. “There has been a running debate since ballet’s early history among critics, the audiences and practitioners of the art about whether ballet should tell a story or just be about the dance. Giselle combines both of these points of view into one of the greatest works in western civilization.” In 1972 dance critic Peter Williams reviewed Giselle at the Royal Ballet in London saying “Giselle is probably the most deceptive role in all classical dance since sheer dancing ability is not enough to make it work. The ballerina has to be totally convincing as a human and, later, as a supernatural being.”
Single tickets for Giselle may be purchased through the Carolina Ballet box office at 919 719-0900, through Ticketmaster at 800 982-2787, or on the Carolina Ballet website. Individual tickets range from $25-66 and there is a $10 student rush ticket that may be purchased with a student ID one half hour before the show.
At the close of its fifteenth season, Carolina Ballet, Inc. takes its place among America’s premier arts organizations. Under the innovative direction of artistic director Robert Weiss, a talented company, fiscally responsible management and community support, Carolina Ballet continues to expose audiences to traditional ballet by legendary masters and new works of contemporary choreographers. The company reflects the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and ever-increasing quality of life experienced in North Carolina.