Touted as one of ballet’s greatest, “Giselle” is a classical romantic tragedy of loss, forgiveness, and love beyond death. Her story is a familiar one – two men are in love with her, but she chooses to surrender her heart to Albrecht, the suave newcomer who, as Giselle later finds out, is engaged to be married.
Ignoring her own suspicions and the well-meaning advice of Hilarion, her other suitor, Giselle eventually discovers the truth and ultimately, her heartbreak results in her demise. Yet she chooses to forgive her lover and save his life.
Re-staged by Nonoy Froilan, the Philippines’ premier danseur, GISELLE starts off the Blue Moon Series, a two-week mini festival celebrating Ballet Philippines’ sapphire milestone.
Fresh from their recently-concluded performances in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia are guest artists from the American Ballet Theater Soloist Stella Abrera and Principal Dancer James Whiteside essaying the roles of Giselle and Albrecht respectively.
Born in Manila, Stella Abrera began her ballet training after moving to California. She joined American Ballet Theater as a member of the corps de ballet in 1996 and was appointed to soloist in 2001. Abrera received the Gold Medal at the Royal Academy of Dancing's Adeline Genée Awards in London in 1995.
James Whiteside was a principal dancer with Boston Ballet in 2009. He joined American Ballet Theater as a soloist in Seoptember 2012 and was named a Principal Dancer in October 2013.
Abrera and Whiteside shall perform on the September 19 fund-raising gala featuring live accompaniment by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Olivier Ochanine.
Ballet Philippines principal dancers Katherine Trofeo and Jean Marc Cordero, as well as newly promoted soloist Denise Parungao and junior principal dancer Earl John Arisola will reprise their roles of Giselle and Albrecht for the other 4 shows in the production’s one-weekend run.
The production also features Mailes Kanapi as Berthe, Giselle’s mother, with Nonoy Froilan and Butch Esperanza alternating as the Duke of Courland, as well as Carissa Adea, Richardson Yadao, Rita Angela Winder, Ma. Celina Dofitas, with Ballet Philippines’ company members, apprentices, and scholars.
The 2013 restaging of “Giselle” earned recognition at the Philstage Gawad Buhay awards, winning the trophies for Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Classical Dance, Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance for Jean Marc Cordero, and Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance for Rita Winder.
A romantic ballet in the truest sense, it has been said that Giselle is to ballet what Hamlet is to drama. Hailed as “the show that brought sexy back to ballet”, “Giselle” will be performed at the CCP Main Theater on September 19 at 3 PM and 8 PM, September 20 at 2 PM and 6 PM, and on September 21 at 2 PM.
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For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit www.ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.
Ballet Philippines - The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace. Love, valour and redemption. A toast to 45 years of dance excellence!