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“Full-blooded re-imagining staged with zeal”

Choreographer Ludovic Ondiviela recasts Giselle as a modern horror, complete with a mortuary scene, in this ambitious and atmospheric full-length ballet (the first ever staged at Dance Base). There’s no Rhineland prettiness here. The setting is anonymous and urban – Maree Kearns’ adroit design features a variety of concrete blocks, scrawled with amorous graffiti, against which a fatal romantic deception plays out.

Using snatches of the original score and pared-back orchestrations, Ondiviela brings a dose of CSI realism to the Romantic framework. Headstrong Giselle (the excellent Ana Enriquez Gonzalez) ends up on a gurney, and there’s a police procedural scene in which the coppers build their theories in physical phrases, arrowing the air as if snatching at leads, or racked with inquisitive palpitations.

Despite the practical restrictions of the studio space and a bit of shaky partnering, the second act is a belter, performed with real brio by the company. The concrete blocks now form a candlelit crypt, out of which emerge a mixed-gender cabal of vengeful spirits. Don’t expect ethereality. There’s some wonderful zombie port de bras – outflung and ungainly – that emits a chilly ectoplasmic energy around grieving Albrecht (Mario Gaglione). A full-blooded reimagining staged with zeal – bravo Ballet Ireland.

Production Details
Production nameGiselle
VenueDance Base
StartsAugust 3
EndsAugust 19
Running time1hr 45mins
ComposerAdolphe Adam
OrchestratorTom Lane
ChoreographerLudovic Ondiviela
Set designerMaree Kearns
Costume designerBarbara Mccarthy, Maree Kearns
Lighting designerEoin Lennon
Sound designerRob Moloney, Tom Lane
CastAna Enriquez Gonzalez, Celine Le Grelle, Christopher Furlong, Emma Price, Kevin Witzenberger, Mario Gaglione, Rodolfo Saraiva, Ryoko Yagyu, Sayako Tomiyoshi, Seu Kim
ProducerAnne Maher
VerdictAmbitious and inventive reworking of ballet’s Romantic classic as a modern horror story
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Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

Anna Winter

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