The Dance Theatre of Harlem performs this ballet set in 1841 Louisiana. It was a time when social status among freed blacks was measured by how far removed one's family was from slavery. Thus, Giselle faces social obstacles and heartbreaking rejection by Albert and his family.
Arthur Mitchell's acclaimed reconception of the classic ballet "Giselle" transposes the action to Louisiana in the 1940s. Giselle, a poor and delicate girl whose greatest joy is to dance, has fallen in love with Albert, a new arrival in her town. Because he has disguised his identity, she does not realize that he comes from an upper-class family and already has a fiancee. Charmed by Giselle's innocence, Albert recklessly continues to romance her. And when the truth comes out, the fragile Giselle goes mad with grief and dies. Consumed with guilt and pain, Albrecht goes into the forest to sit by Giselle's grave... when suddenly dozens of otherwordly creatures fly into the clearing. These are the Wilis, the ghosts of young girls who adored dancing -- and who died of a broken heart. They kill all men who stumble onto their path. Giselle has become one of these spirits, but her affection is so deep and true that even in death she has pity for Albert and wishes to spare him. The Wilis coldly refuse her request. Can she keep Albert alive until the dawn banishes the Wilis to their graves'
Love Triangle |
Love Triangles |
Arthur Mitchell, the artistic director of the Dance Theater of Harlem, was a renowned and popular dancer with the New York City Ballet. He was the first African-American principal in a major American dance company, and won acclaim for his technically accomplished and passionate performances. New York City Ballet's director and choreographer, George Balanchine, created numerous works for him, and when Mitchell formed his own troupe, generously lent him several ballets for the repertory.