Ballet Bellevue will end its 2013-2014 season with a performance of “Giselle” during the city’s Arts Fair Weekend.
The company will pack the Meydenbauer Center Theatre’s pit with 36 musicians, making this weekend the first time the French classic has been performed in the city with a full orchestra.
“Giselle,” composed by Adolphe Adam, is the oldest continuously-performed ballet in the art form’s history. It tells the story of a peasant woman who dies of a broken heart upon learning her beau is a nobleman promised to a noblewoman. She is resurrected by the Wilis, a coven of jilted lovers who seek to dance any man they encounter to death; though Giselle is more forgiving than the vengeful group predicts.
“It’s a beautiful, romantic ballet,” executive director Mary Ellen Hundley said. “The story is romantic in the primary sense of the word.
“It’s a sad tale. The scene of (Giselle) coming back from the grave and having one last dance with her lover is bittersweet. It’s a very high emotional ballet with beautifully written music.”
The production was chosen to end this season both because of its easy recognition among audiences and because it was the favorite ballet of Carolyn Gracey Greer, the founder of the Ballet Arts Center.
Nadia Iozzo, of the Kansas City Ballet, will perform the titular role of Giselle. Christopher Scruggs of the Alberta Ballet will play Prince Albrecht.
Some of the orchestral musicians come from the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, fresh off its own production of “Giselle” in Seattle.
“Giselle” will play at the Theatre at Meydenbauer 8 p.m. July 26 and 6:30 p.m. July 27. Tickets can be purchased here.