First State Ballet Theatre, Delaware''s only professional ballet troupe, is premiering the first full length “Giselle” ever performed in the state. Continually seeking new challenges, Pasha Kambalov, FSB's Artistic Director, wishes to introduce a younger audience to ballet.




 

First State Ballet Theatre, Delaware''s only professional ballet troupe, is premiering the first full length “Giselle” ever performed in the state. Continually seeking new challenges, Pasha Kambalov, FSB's Artistic Director, wishes to introduce a younger audience to ballet.

First performed in1841 and under the guidance of perhaps the world's greatest choreographer Marius Petipa of the Imperial Russian Ballet, the ballet tells the story a peasant girl named Giselle whose ghost, after her premature death, protects her lover from the vengeance of a group of evil female spirits called Wilis.

Says long time Board President Robert Grenfell, “with the great popularity of Harry Potter and other books and films of this genre, “Giselle” has similar qualities of witches, hobgoblins and the supernatural.”

It is set in the Rhineland of the Middle Ages. When the curtain rises on the first act, the cottage of Giselle. Duke Albrecht of Silesia, a nobleman who has disguised himself as a peasant named Loys, occupies a cottage nearby. This perennially bad boy Albrecht wished to sow a few wild oats before his marriage to a princess.

Albrecht flirts with Giselle, who falls utterly in love with him. Hilarion, a gamekeeper, is also in love with Giselle and warns the girl against trusting the stranger, but Giselle refuses to listen. Albrecht and Giselle dance a love duet. This loathsome cad Albrecht knows he will never marry Giselle but carries on the affair anyway.

The truth about Albrecht is learned and Giselle goes mad and dies.

In Act II, the 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. One should not mess with these very p.o.'d Valkyries! This does not portend well for Albrecht.

Giselle is summoned from her grave and welcomed by the supernatural creatures who then quickly disappear. Albrecht enters searching for Giselle's grave, and she appears before him. He begs forgiveness. Giselle, her love undiminished, readily forgives him and the two dance. The scene ends with Albrecht in pursuit of Giselle as she disappears into the forest.

The Wilis are not to be denied and then surround Albrecht and sentence the Rhineland's answer to “Jersey Shores” 'Situation” to death. He begs to be spared. Giselle, (wouldn't you know) protects him from the Wilis when they force him to dance.

Day breaks and the Wilis retreat to their graves, but Giselle's love has saved Albrecht. By not succumbing to feelings of vengeance and hatred that define the Wilis, Giselle is freed from any association with them, and returns to her grave to rest in peace. At least someone has a clear conscience is this drama!

Grenfell states that FSBT is quickly gaining an international reputation. There are now 14 paid dancers and 4 interns. Dancers from Japan, Europe and South America have asked to audition for the troupe. The two main reasons for this acclaim is that the company offers young and talented pros the opportunity to dance important roles in the world's great ballets. This is great for their resume. Additionally, the leadership of the group takes risks to go beyond a continuing rotation of the more more well known ballets; stretching themselves into new frontiers.

The vast majority of FSBT's costumes are built in Russia. Dazzling new costumes for this premiere are being shipped as we speak.

“Giselle” Saturday April 14 at 7pm and Sunday April 15 at 2p.For tickets:  800.37.GRAND Ticketsatthegrand.org FirstStateBallet.com

On February 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm., the company continues its wildly popular “Up Front with FSBT” format (the first “Up Front” in February 2011 was sold out in a matter of days). An informal, in-studio performance of classical and contemporary highlights, “Up Front” is limited to 100 patrons, who will enjoy a catered reception with FSBT’s dancers, staff and board following the show. For tickets, call Business Manager Mary Anne Grenfell at 302-658-7897, ext. 3851.