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What's On

By season

Autumn 2015
Winter 2015
Spring 2016
Summer 2016

By venue

Belfast Grand Opera House
Birmingham Hippodrome
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Sadler's Wells, London
Sunderland Empire
The Lowry, Salford
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

By show

Ashton Double bill
Company Class
First Steps: a child's Swan Lake
Free pre-performance talks
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare Triple bill
Swan Lake
The Nutcracker
The Taming of the Shrew
Variations Triple bill (Birmingham)
Variations Triple bill (tour)

Giselle story guide


click here for a child friendly story guide.
(you will need Adobe Acrobat to view the printable story guide. If you do not have this installed please click here)

Giselle's grave in the forest
As midnight sounds, Hilarion keeps vigil by Giselle's grave, which lies in unhallowed ground by a forest lake. This is the time when the Wilis materialize - ghosts of young girls who have been jilted and have died before their wedding day; now they avenge themselves by dancing to death any man whom they happen upon during the hours of darkness. Myrtha, their Queen, summons her Wilis; and next Giselle is called from her grave to be initiated into their rites. When Albrecht enters, bringing flowers for Giselle's tomb, Giselle appears to him. The Wilis pursue Hilarion, whom they drive to his death, and next fall vengefully upon Count Albrecht.

Myrtha condemns him to dance until he dies, and though Giselle urges him to the safety of the cross on her grave, Myrtha commands Giselle to dance and lure Albrecht from the cross. Giselle tries to sustain him, but as the night wears on his dancing becomes more and more exhausted. Just as his death seems imminent, dawn breaks. Daylight destroys the Wilis' power and the ghostly dancers fade away; Giselle, whose love has transcended death, returns to her grave, her spirit free from the power of the Wilis, leaving Albrecht sorrowing alone.


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