Giselle at the Artscape

Tusile Tenza is one of the soloists who dance in Act 1.

The Cape Town City Ballet (CTCB) will perform Giselle from Friday July 6 to Sunday July 15 at the Artscape Opera House.

They will be accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Allan Stephenson at all but one performance, for the eight shows.

Giselle is a ballet in two acts with a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier. The music was composed by Adophe Adam, and the original choreography was created by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot.

The ballet tells the story of a peasant girl named Giselle, whose ghost, after her premature death, protects her lover from the vengeance of a group of evil spirits called Wilis, female spirits who, jilted before their wedding day, rise from their graves at night and seek revenge upon men by dancing them to death. The ballet was first presented at the Paris Opéra’s Salle le Peletier on 28 June 1841 with Carlotta Grisi as Giselle, Lucien Petipa as Albrecht, and Jean Coralli as Hilarion.

David Poole created his version of the ballet in 1972 when the leading roles were danced by Phyllis Spira and Eduard Greyling, with Elizabeth Triegaardt as Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, and John Simons in the pivotal role of Hilarion – a version that was reproduced many times for the CAPAB Ballet Co.

The CTCB has performed Poole’s version nine times since 1997, produced by Elizabeth Triegaardt, by kind permission of Owen Murray, who himself danced both Albrecht and Hilarion during his long career with the CAPAB Ballet Co.

One of Europe’s top ballerinas, Ksenia Ovsyanick, from the Berlin State Ballet, will be at two performances. She will be partnered by the CTCB’s own senior principal dancer, Daniel Szybkowski.

Other casts of the leading roles are Laura Bosenberg also with Daniel Szybkowski, Kirstel Paterson with Conrad Nusser and Mariette Opperman with Xola Putye.

The role of Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis, is shared by Rosamund Ford, Claire Spector, Leanè Theunissen and Caitlin Smith, while Hilarion is interpreted by Xola Putye, Craig Pedro and Conrad Nusser.

Ticket prices range between R150 and R500. Book at Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat at 021 421 7695.