First performed at the Paris Opéra on 28 June 1841 as a two-act "ballet-pantomime" and hailed by ballet historians as the oldest surviving exampl of a ballet that owes its origins to the work of a global collective.
As the archetypal Romantic ballet, Giselle revolves aroun the traditional motif of the love that triumphs over death, a motif that can be traced back to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and that was to culminate in the later 19th century in the music dramas of Wagner.
The plot, in outline, is as follows. Giselle is an innocent and naïve young girl from the country.
Source: livret ARTHAUS Musik
DVD AVAILABLE AT ARTHAUS MUSIK: arthaus-musik.com/
Born in Paris on April 22nd 1917, Yvette Chauviré was admitted to the Paris Opera dance school at the age of ten. She took her first steps on the stage in 1929 in L’éventail de Jeanne. She joined the Opera corps de ballet in 1934 where she quickly worked her way to the top: from quadrille she directly became petit sujet without ever being Coryphée. She was named Étoile in December 1941 at the premiere of the ballet Istar choreographed for her by Serge Lifar.
In 1947, she enjoyed tremendous success with her interpretation of the role of the shadow in les Mirages by Serge Lifar. However, her career at the Opera was rife with disputes and she left the company a number of times, particularly in 1946 when she joined Serge Lifar as guest Étoile at the Ballet de Monte-Carlo. She had already performed with this company in 1945 and after. She returned to the Paris Opera from 1947 to 1949 and set off again on a world tour from 1949 to 1952 before returning to the parent company from 1953 to 1962. Alongside this, she continued to perform under contract in various companies world-wide, as well as creating choreographies including Rendez-vous sentimental.
In 1970, she performed in Brazil in Buenos Aires in the solo The Dying Swan. That same year, she opened a dance school in Paris. In 1972, she bade farewell to the stage alongside Cyril Atanassoff in the role of Giselle. From 1970 to 1977, she presided over the Académie Internationale de Danse, Paris, and passed down her talent to the Opera’s Étoiles. In 1976, Yvette Chauviré performed in the play Amphitryon by Jean Giraudoux. She was also honorary president of the Association Française des Maitres de Danse Classique (A.F.M.D.C.). In 1991, she accepted to return to the stage in Switzerland to create the role of Maude for the contemporary creation of the ballet Harold and Maude by the company Sinopia Ensemble de Danse, choreographed by Etienne Frey: a role that she interpreted in turn with Rosella Hightower, on an original score by Michaël Jarell especially composed for this ballet.
She was awarded the title of prima ballerina assoluta, a distinction that is very rare. Yvette Chauviré was made Commander of the Legion of Honour in 1988 and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2010.
Yvette Chauviré passed away on October 21st, 2016.
Source : Opéra National de Paris
Jean Coralli, original name in full Giovanni Coralli Peracini (born January 15, 1779, Paris, France—died May 1, 1854, Paris), French dancer and choreographer who was ballet master of the Paris Opéra and who, with Jules Perrot, created the Romantic ballet "Giselle".
Coralli received his early training in Paris from Pierre Gardel or Jean-François Coulon and made his debut at the Paris Opéra in 1802. In 1806–07 he produced five ballets at the Court Opera in Vienna, and in 1808 he was appointed principal dancer at La Scala in Milan.
Coralli spent the rest of his career in Paris. In 1825 he became ballet master at the Porte-Saint-Martin Theatre, a commercially run house with a reputation as an alternative arena for dance.
In 1831, following the privatization of the Opéra after the Revolution of 1830, Coralli succeeded Jean-Louis Aumer as ballet master, a post he was to hold until 1850. His appointment coincided with the most brilliant phase of the Romantic ballet, and, while he never composed for the renowned Marie Taglioni (who danced exclusively in her father’s ballets), four of the nine ballets he produced during his engagement were created for her great rival, Fanny Elssler, and another two were created for Carlotta Grisi.
Source: Encyclopeadia Universalis
French choreographer and dancer, born in Lyon in 1810 and died in Paramé in 1892. Son of the head machinist at the Theatre de Lyon, Jules Perrot was initiated into dance and acrobatics in the city, before becoming, in Paris, Auguste Vestris’s favourite student. He began at the Académie Royale de Musique in 1830, and shared the success of Marie Taglioni in "Zéphire et Flore", "Robert le Diable", "Nathalie ou la Laitière Suisse". He then appeared on stage in different European cities: in Vienna where he scored his first choreography, Kobold; in Munich, Milan and Naples. On returning to Paris, for the first time he presented his protegee to the Parisian public: Carlotta Grisi in "Zingaro" (1840); in London, at Her Majesty's Theatre, he performed the roles of dancer, Ballet Master and choreographer (1841-1848). With J. Coralli he created “Giselle" for Carlotta Grisi (1841); the famous "Pas de Quatre", which brought together Fanny Cerrito, Carlotta Grisi, Lucile Grahn and Marie Taglioni. After an engagement at the Opéra de Paris (1849), where he scored “La Filleule des Fées", he went to Saint Petersburg, where he triumphed at the Imperial Theatre as dancer, Ballet Master and choreographer, until 1859.
Intransigent of nature, entirely captivated by his art, rather unfortunate of physical appearance (Auguste Vestris, his teacher, advised him never to stay in one place to avoid drawing attention to his physique), he acquired fame through his height, elegance and dramatic sense. Blessed with an extremely keen stage awareness, he performed for the most part in action ballets where dance and pantomime come in succession, seamlessly; he excelled in the art of governing the movements of an entire ballet ensemble which, with him, earned the reputation by which he is known today. He was the first to achieve, in a lawsuit against Marius Petipa, the legal recognition of choreography as work of art.
Source: Encyclopedia Universalis
Tina Protasoni is a filmmaker. Among her filmography, we can count the captures of spectacles such as Giselle and La Bayadère, in 2005 and 2006, interpreted by the theater of Scala's ballet.
Source : Mubi
Ballet du théâtre de la Scala
Artistic direction: Mauro Bigonzetti
The present day Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala can boast a glorious past whose roots go back centuries to the 1778 inauguration of the world’s most celebrated musical theatre. Illustrious choreographers, such as Jean-Georges Noverre, Gasparo Angiolini, Salvatore Viganò, were to exert great influence on dance in Europe, even before the founding in 1813 of the Imperial Dance Academy of La Scala. From here Carlo Blasis, the illustrious dancer, teacher and theorist brought Ballet into the romantic period, contributing to the technical innovation of its style. In Russia, Enrico Cecchetti, propagated the teaching of the Italian academic technique and by way of Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which he had joined, elevated its status in this new era. Dance at La Scala entered the twentieth century also with renowned choreographers linked to the Ballets Russes, like Mikhail Fokin and Leonide Massine.
From the free and expressionist dance of Middle-Europe of the thirties and forties, came, above all, Aurel Milloss. Arturo Toscanini gave him the task of reuniting the lost threads of the Scala company after the Second World War. For his repertoire, he not only chose great musicians, renowned set designers and painters, but also illustrious guests such as George Balanchine.
In the fifties and sixties, La Scala became a stage open to the best names of the then artistic panorama. Roland Petit made his début in 1963, Maurice Béjart in the seventies, and many guest stars were added like Rudolf Nureyev, beginning in 1965 a very close collaboration with the Milanese theatre.
Thanks to the unfailing expressive, technical and interpretative appeal of La Scala’s étoiles Svetlana Zakharova, Roberto Bolle, Massimo Murru, guest artists, principals, newly appointed soloists, and the many Corps de Ballet members frequently selected for major roles, Makhar Vaziev’s direction (from 2009 since end of 2015) resolutely embraces a set of precise artistic standards. The aim is to reinvigorate the twentieth century’s most refreshing and influential ballet repertoire as a “tradition of the new” in the ballet world, reviving the necessary classics, providing young choreographers with creative opportunities, and drawing celebrated musical directors to the ballet rostrum, both as an element of added appeal and also as an unmistakable sign of the musical excellence that befits La Scala, not only in its operatic performances but also in its dance productions.
Under his direction, the Ballet Company's chain of command has grown in every respect. Today's principals include Nicoletta Manni and Claudio Coviello, and soloists include Massimo Garon and Marco Agostino, Virna Toppi, Vittoria Valerio, Federico Fresi, and very young dancers trained at the Ballet School are emerging from the ranks of the Ballet Company: among them Alessandra Vassallo and Christian Fagetti, and many new dancers such as Lusymay Di Stefano, Denise Gazzo, Timofej Andrijashenko, Nicola Del Freo and Martina Arduino, who have debuted in main roles, fulfilling the Company's brief to recognise and cast burgeoning talent. The successor of Makhar Vaziev, Mauro Bigonzetti, had to withdraw the ballet direction due to a health problem; from October 2016 the direction of the Ballet Company has been entrusted to Frédéric Olivieri.
Source: Ballet Company of Teatro alla Scala 's website
More information: teatroallascala.org
Choreography : Jean Coralli et Jules Perrot, remonté par Yvette Chauviré et Florence Clerc
Interpretation : Ballet du Théâtre de la Scala : Svtlana Zakharova (Giselle), Roberto Bolle (Albrecht), Vittorio D'Amato (Hilarion), Marta Romagna (Myrtha), Francisco Sedeno (le Duc), Flavia Vallone (Bathilde) et le corps de ballet du Théâtre de la Scala
Text : Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges et Théophile Gautier (livret)
Original music : Adolphe Adam
Live music : David Coleman (Chef d'orchestre), Orchestre du Théâtre de la Scala
Costumes : Aleksandr Benois
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Production Rai Tre et Rai Trade, 2005
Arthaus Musik is a label for classical music on DVD and Blu-ray. The company belongs to Studio Halle GmbH and maintains the subsidiary Monarda Arts.
Arthaus Musik GmbH was founded in Munich in March 2000 and has been based in Halle (Saale) since 2007. The label has been publishing records of operas, ballets, classical concerts, jazz, theater productions and selected documentaries on music and the arts for thirteen years. Since then, over 700 titles have been released on DVD and Blu-ray with up to 100 releases per year.
Among the publications are recordings with artists such as Plácido Domingo, Cecilia Bartoli, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Jonas Kaufmann, Burkard Schliessmann and conductors, such as Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez and Zubin Mehta. The recordings come from opera houses such as La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Opéra National de Paris and the Zurich Opera House.
More information: arthaus-musik.com/
Why do I dance ?
Why do I dance ?
Panorama of different artistic collaborations, from « couples » of choreographers to creations involving musicians or plasticians
When reality breaks in
When reality breaks in
Presentation of Pantomimes in the different types of dance.
Female / male
Female / male
A walk between different conceptions and receptions of genres in different styles and eras of dance.
Reinterpreting works: Swan Lake, Giselle
Reinterpreting works: Swan Lake, Giselle
Some great shows are revisited through the centuries. Here are two examples of pieces reinterpreted by different choreographers.
Genres and styles
Genres and styles
Dance is a rather vast term, which covers a myriad of specificities. These depend on the culture of a country, on a period, on a place. This Journey proposes a visit through dance genres and styles.