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Red Giselle

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Hello...I've always loved the ballet Giselle and over the years have developed a real passion for it. I read somewhere about Eifman's ballet called 'Red Giselle' and would love to know more about it...music, storyline, type of choreography. Here in central Florida one of our choreographers did a piece called 'My Giselle' which was spellbinding to music by Chopin and I wonder if there were any similarities. Would love any info on this ballet called 'Red Giselle'. Thanks!

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any number of balletalert readers and posters have seen and even written about this work. some of them here no doubt.

meanwhile, there are any number of sites if you do a 'red giselle eifman' search on the web. meanwhile here's what the ardani site says (ardani being the org. that produces eifman ballet tours). the dancers named in the cast information are obviously those for the tour being promoted by the site.

as follows:

Red Giselle

In Tribute to Olga Spessivtseva

Music by Peter Tchaikovsky, Alfred Schnittke, George Bizet

Choreography by Boris Eifman

Set Design by Slava Okunev


Ballerina - Yelena Kuzmina; Vera Arbuzova

Teacher - Oleg Markov; Alexander Ratchinski

Secret Police Agent (KGB) - Albert Galichanin; Yuri Ananyan

Partner - Igor Markov; Yuri Smekalov

World Premiere by Eifman Ballet: January 28, 1997, St. Petersburg, Russia


Act I

Revolutionary Petrograd. A lesson in classic dance in the ballet class of the former imperial theater. The strict and eccentric Teacher picks out from all the dancers one whose perfect dancing and slightly mysterious image embody his ideal of beauty.

At a theater sparkling with gilt, the Ballerina's performance delights the audience. Among her admirers is a Chekist, from the secret police, a representative of the new regime. It is not only her art that attracts him. The Chekist's crude violence and powerful embraces force the Ballerina to his will.

The Chekist brings the Ballerina into his world, unknown to her, where the wild rampage of the revolutionary mob turns into a mad festival of destruction. She reigns over this festival, forgetting the tenets of her Teacher. However the spiritual values he had instilled in her are stronger than the intoxication of power. The Ballerina returns to the ballet class, to the Teacher.

A new, cruel and aggressive regime now reigns in the theater, leveling everything in its path. The white ballerinas must become the obedient weapon of the unjust red idea. The Teacher is in despair. The reality is unbearable, but he can change nothing.

The Ballerina and the Chekist are bound by their complex relationship. It is filled with attraction and repulsion, passion and misunderstanding.

The Chekist allows the Ballerina to join the émigrés who are leaving Russia forever.

Act II

Ballet class at the Grand Opera de Paris. A famous dancer and choreographer leads the rehearsal. The movements he suggests are unfamiliar to the Ballerina, but the dance creator's inspired talent leads her on. The dancer becomes her Partner, and triumphant success awaits them.

Her feelings for the Partner are not returned. Unrequited love and loneliness in an alien world push the Ballerina toward a nervous breakdown.

She tries to lose herself in the merriment of Paris. But the ghosts of the past pursue her here, as well. The red flashbacks of the revolution, appearing as the Chekist in nightmarish inundation, do not give her peace. Nor can she forget herself in her favorite role as Giselle, in which the Ballerina always stunned audiences and won world fame. Giselle's fate - betrayal by her beloved and eventual madness - awaits her, too. Mirrors reflect the morbid consciousness of the Ballerina. Madness seems to hold salvation, in the world beckoning from the other side of the mirror.




Serenade for Strings, Op. 48


"The Tempest " Symphonic Fantasia after Shakespeare


"Ritual" for large symphonic orchestra


"Manfred" Symphony in Four Acts after the dramatic poem by Byron


Concerto grosso No. 2 for violin, cello and orchestra


Elegy to the memory of Samarin


Gogol Suite





Gogol Suite


"Yes, Sir, that's my Baby"

The Charlston Kids


"Golden Nugget"

The Firehouse Charleston Band


"Lady in Red"

The Charleston Kids


Concerto for viola and orchestra


"No dream in the summer night"


Francesca de Rimini Symphonic Fantasia after Dante, Op. 32


"Giselle" Final

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rg...Thankyou so much for such a complete description of this ballet. I had some time after my origional post and did find one of the Boris Eifman sites that delt

with 'La Giselle Rouge' where I learned the story line and the very sad story of Olga Spessivtseva. Interesting though to read all the composers who Eifman used for this major work and the other details mentioned in your post. The ballet was created for his company and made its first appearance at the Marinsky Theatre in 1997 and later at the Bolshoi and then City Center in N.Y. in 1998. The ballet sounds very dark yet very intriguing and I would love to know any general impressions of this work if anyone saw this at City Center. There are no comparisons to this in any way to the ballet I mentioned earlier,'My Giselle'. Tango

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Alexandria and Leigh...Thanks for the threads! After reading some of the words used to describe this ballet, "lurid turmoil" and not to mention the "levitating head" :thumbsup: I would surely buy a ticket just to see what it's all about. Leave it to the russians to create a ballet so controversial. Yes ...no mushy middle in any of these descriptions! I hope I get to see it too Alexandria! Tango

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