This Month in BM History: May 2010
Since its world premiere in 1841, the haunting story of Giselle has enthralled audiences and made it a true ballet classic.
Briefly summed up, Giselle is about a peasant girl who is betrayed by her beloved Albrecht, dies of a broken heart, yet comes back to save him from a deadly fate at the hands of the vengeful Wilis led by their queen, Myrtha.
In 2010, Ballet Manila staged Giselle as part of Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s 25th anniversary as a professional ballerina. The two shows were to be her 29th and 30th time to perform one of the most coveted ballerina roles. It is sought after, Lisa explains in her director’s notes, “not just because of the ballet’s technical demands but more so because of the dramatic intensity and interpretation that the role requires.”
Giselle is also a showcase for the corps de ballet who, with their white tutus and synchronized movements, lend such an eerie presence – particularly when they force wayward men to dance to their death.
In the two shows for this run, Lisa was partnered by Nazer Salgado and Rudy De Dios – both of whom were dancing the full-length Giselle for the first time.
The production was made even more special with the participation of multi-awarded actress and environmental advocate Chin-Chin Gutierrez as Duchess Bathilde, whom Albrecht is engaged to.
This staging of Giselle also served as a fundraiser for Project Ballet Futures, Ballet Manila’s scholarship program.