The ultimate romantic ballet, Giselle, opens at the Penistone Paramount in Sheffield this evening, with its tale of innocence, love, betrayal and madness.
With music by one of the 19th century’s best composers, Adolphe Adam, and choreography by the late Nicholas Beriosoff, Vienne Festival Ballet’s traditional staging of this 1841 masterpiece moves from the sunny optimism of Giselle’s idyllic village life to an ethereal world of mystery and menace.
With its irresistible combination of a heart-breaking story and exquisite choreography, Giselle is the perfect way to discover classical ballet if you’ve never had the chance before. The 175-year-old ballet follows the story of a peasant girl who falls in love with Count Albrecht, who has told her that he is a villager named Loys. Her discovery of his true identity has devastating consequences leading to her death, caused by a broken heart at discovering her lover is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave. They target Count Albrecht for death, but Giselle’s great love for him frees him, in the end, from their grasp.
The demanding role of Giselle will be danced in Sheffield by the talented Rachel Victoria Hernon. Originally from Greater Manchester, Rachel trained in Russia and danced soloist roles with the Romanian National Ballet. She returned home early this year and joined Vienna Festival Ballet in February, a classical ballet company founded in 1980, which spends eight months of the year touring small and medium venues in the UK. Giselle opens at Penistone Paramount at 7.30pm.