Boston Ballet’s “Giselle” Brings a Haunting Romance to the Stage

This post is sponsored by Boston Ballet. All opinions are my own.

The perfect way to kick off the fall season, Boston Ballet’s Giselle runs at the Boston Opera House through September 29, 2019. Haunting and full of stunning dancing, costuming, and set design, seeing Giselle is the ultimate way to kick off ‘spooky season’ in the city.

Boston Ballet Giselle
Boston Ballet in Giselle; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

In Giselle, the ballet’s namesake tragically dies of a broken heart upon discovering that the man she was in love with, Count Albrecht is engaged to another women. Act I sets the scene with Giselle’s village, and establishing which characters are peasants and which are part of the aristocracy as her love for Count Albrecht literally dances across the stage.

Act II takes place entirely after her death in the forest by her grave site, where the Wilis (ghosts of women who died under similar circumstances) attempt to get Giselle to join them all whilst preventing any man from returning to her by forcing them to dance to their deaths.

Dawn Atkins and Boston Ballet in Giselle; photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy of Boston Ballet

We attended the opening night performance of Giselle and before any of the dancers entered the scene we were immediately blown away by the set. We use the term “immersive” a lot around here to describe areas around Disney parks (looking at you, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge), but this feeling can really apply to how it feels to sit in the audience during Giselle- The village scenery in Act I does not simply feel like a backdrop on a stage, nor does the forest in Act II, it’s really easy to feel like you are a fully immersed part of the story while watching from your seats.

Related Post // 5 Reasons to See a Ballet When You Visit Boston

Part of this immersion certainly comes from the acting and staging of the ballet, which is in largely credited to this adaptation by renowned Boston Ballet ballerina and Ballet Master Larissa Ponomarenko. Having formerly played the role of Giselle, Ponomarenko has made this year’s performances of Giselle truly special by adding her own personal touches and bringing her extensive experience in the ballet field to a new generation of dancers.

Giselle‘s masterful blend of technical choreography with dramatic storytelling also add to this totally immersive experience, wrapping you right up in both the dancing and the romance that ties the plot together:

The musical score by Adolphe Adam (19th century French composer of 46 operas and 16 ballets!) performed by the talented orchestra cap off this experience at the theatre. The music showcases the advanced choreography and Ponomarenko’s unique staging in a way that best highlights the feelings of all the characters alongside the scenery and effects of each act.

Giselle is performed select dates/times at the Boston Opera House through September 29, 2019 and tickets start at $37 on bostonballet.org. Special youth pricing is available with a savings of 50% youth tickets in sections A and B for all performances of Giselle with the purchase of an adult ticket (details here).

If you can get to Giselle this week (or any Boston Ballet this season), I highly recommend arriving a little early or leaving your seats during intermission to check out The Warm-up in the lower level of the Boston Opera House. The Warm-up includes a small exhibit with information on each performance and ballet in general with interactive things for kids to do, a photo op with props, and trading cards featuring Boston Ballet dancers.

It may be the former museum/Disney employee in me, but I’m all about small things events or attractions can do like this to make it more interactive and get more people interested in whatever they’re about to see.(If you’re a ‘Disney person’ reading this, think of this as a condensed pre-ballet version of Animal Kingdom’s Wilderness Explorer program- definitely a fun stop for kids!).

Learn more about Boston Ballet’s Giselle on bostonballet.org and let me know how you’re planning to kick off the fall season in the comments!

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