HOUSTON -- One of the oldest ballets still performed today will be Houston’s soon.
Giselle, by the celebrated Russian ballerina Ai-Gul Gaisina and artistic director Stanton Welch’s critically acclaimed one-act work, Indigo, will both be staged by the Houston Ballet starting Sept. 22.
Giselle is one of the oldest ballets still performed, and its movement style contrasts sharply with the speed and attack of Indigo, the first work that Stanton Welch created for Houston Ballet in 1999.
One of the most famous and widely performed works of the Romantic era, Giselle tells the story of a beautiful peasant girl deceived by Count Albrecht, her transformation into a Wili (the ghosts of women betrayed on their wedding day) and her forgiveness of her errant lover which results in his salvation. The ballet was choreographed by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli to a commissioned score by Adolphe Adam, and it originally premiered in Paris on June 28, 1841.
“I hope that the lyrical, delicate, and grave beauty of Giselle will stir the emotions of audiences of all ages,” said Gaisina on her staging. “If there is one story ballet that will be a benchmark for a ballet lover’s knowledge, it will always be Giselle. I hope my contribution to this important piece of art will be a meaningful one.”
Born in Kazan in the USSR and educated in Leningrad at the famed Vaganova Choreographic Institute (Kirov Ballet School) Ai-Gul Gaisina graduated from the class of Naima Valievna Baltacheva. Travelling throughout South America, Cuba, Europe and Australasia, she partnered the legendary Alexander Godunov, before joining the Stanislavsky Ballet Theatre in Moscow. In 1973, Ms. Gaisina left Russia and joined The Australian Ballet. In 1983 Ms. Gaisina joined The Australian Ballet School where she taught for 10 years before joining The Australian Ballet once more as a guest teacher and coach. Ms. Gaisina has taught at The Royal Danish Ballet, Houston Ballet and Hong Kong Ballet.
Learning the role of Giselle are principals Danielle Rowe and Sara Webb along with soloist Karina Gonzalez. Ms. Rowe was promoted to principal on August 5, 2011. Principals Simon Ball, Jun Shuang Huang, and Connor Walsh are learning the part of Albrecht. The role of Berthe will be danced by former principal Barbara Bears. Principal Ian Casady and demi soloists James Gotesky are learning the role of Hilarion. First soloist Kelly Myernick and soloist Melissa Hough are learning to dance Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.
The Houston Ballet will give seven performances of Giselle and Indigo in the Brown Theater at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston. Tickets may be purchased by calling 713-227-2787 or by visiting www.houstonballet.org.
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