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Joseph

Original Giselle Act II

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I friend of mine said that the original production of Giselle has the wilis in Act II set in a ballroom, all wearing different costumes? Is this true?

:rofl:

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Not Act II, but Act I!

The original plotline of the ballet was going to have the Wilis appear at a ballroom and enchant the floor to make the party-goers dance especially vigorously. Giselle was supposed to be a young socialite who has a weak heart and takes a chill, so dying of (apparently) a sort of congestive heart failure. They ditched this idea as being insufficiently catastrophic.

The Wilis were supposed to come from all over the world, and this device is seen vestigially in the names of the two lead Wilis, Moyna (a Russian Gypsy) and Zulma (a Bayadere).

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Thanks Mel-

This friend also did say there is a video that has a version constructed as mentioned above...Do you know anything about this, or where I could find it?

I have never heard of one, but always looking for new footage! :)

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I don't know that Mary Skeaping's "original re-creation" Giselle went all that way back, but it did include things that were actually present in the first production that we don't see today, like the Fugue for the Wilis. Others?

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Ok, cool - so how would I find this copy??? Do you think it is still available??? :)

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Skeaping's production was done in 1971 for the London Festival Ballet, now the English National Ballet. I don't know that it was ever made commercially available on video.

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The ballroom idea was tossed out before the premiere. It was Gautier's idea, but the theater management thought it was not stageable and the libretto was revised to be what we know today -- with a heck of a lot more mime! (Even the Skeaping production didn't put back all the mime).

Marion Smith's "Opera and Ballet in the Age of Giselle" has a lot of detail on the age, and the balllet.

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:mellow:

I friend of mine said that the original production of Giselle has the wilis in Act II set in a ballroom, all wearing different costumes? Is this true?

:thanks:

On one hand I doubt it, but on the other hand I have seen so many queer things that something like this wouln't surprise me. I would not approve it anyway.

Evelio.

Edited by Evelio Sierra

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