English Youth Ballet's adaptation of Giselle is set in the Edwardian era on an English country estate and has a Downton Abbey flavour. The young governess - Giselle falls in love with the aristocratic Albert who betrays her. She dies of a broken heart. Giselle’s ghost chooses to protect Albert as he visits her leafy graveside. In the forest live the macabre Wili Spirits - the ghosts of other young women who rise from the grave each night. They will stop at nothing to take their revenge on the menfolk of the town who cross their paths.
The inventive choreography is faithful to the well-loved original version and was created by Janet Lewis MBE – EYB’s Artistic Director – and her team. The classic stage designs were created by Keith Bish. The evocative musical score was composed especially for the ballet, in 1841, by the great master Adolphe Adam. An extra section of music by Adam, that is rarely heard, has been added for the Hunt Scene. In this section the exquisite music can be likened to the sound of galloping horses.
Now in its staggering 21st year, EYB previously won The Stage Award for special achievement in regional theatre. The opportunity to watch EYB is a unique experience. Sell-out audiences are treated to stunning international principal artists sharing the stage with the top up-and-coming young talent from the local area. EYB’s large cast ensures the ballets are performed with the scale and grandeur which was originally intended. The company for the production will be made up of 5 professional principals and 100 local dancers (aged 8 – 18) from around the Buckinghamshire. There are now ex-EYB young performers in some of the world’s finest companies – including the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet.
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