St Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre


ballet by Adolphe Adam

Performance by the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre


Soloists of the Leonid Yakobson Ballet Theatre

Running time 2 hours 10 minutes

The performance has one interval

Age category 6+


Music by Adolphe Adam
Libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, Théophile Gautier and Jean Coralli
Choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa
Revival directed by Irina Kolpakova
Sets and costumes by Vyacheslav Okunev

Giselle is rightly referred to as the epitome of Romanticism in ballet. Its plot is based on the legend of the Wilis — the souls of girls who have died before their weddings could take place. At night, they abandon their graves and force any travellers who have lost their way to dance themselves to death. This legend was recorded by the German poet Heinrich Heine, and the Frenchmen Théophile Gautier and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges transformed it into a ballet libretto. The music was composed by Adolphe Adam and the choreography created by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. In the 1880s the ballet was revised for the St Petersburg stage by Marius Petipa. It is in this form that the ballet survives today, enchanting audiences across the globe with the idealised skill through which the tragic story of Giselle is transformed into a choreographic poem about the power of a love that conquers death.

The St Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre directed by Honoured Artist of Russia Andrian Fadeyev is a unique dance company. The theatre can take pride in its fifty-year history and is privileged to bear the name of one of the 20th century’s most outstanding Russian choreographers. Today, the St Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre is one of the country’s greatest ballet companies and it has been a recipient of St Petersburg’s loftiest theatre award the Golden Sofit, Russia’s national theatre prize the Golden Mask and the prestigious Taglioni European Ballet Award.

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