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The Australian Ballet Tour of Giselle

The Australian Ballet is touring Australia, both regionally and in some larger cities, as it presents the quintessential classical ballet Giselle. This critically acclaimed production will be presented in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales including Riverside Theatres on Saturday October 7.

Since its creation in 1841, Giselle has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world with its heartbreaking love story, famous mad scene, sea of ghostly white tutus and impressive display of ballet technique.

Since 1982, The Australian Ballet Regional Tour, formally known as The Dancers Company, has brought the enchanting and transformative experience of ballet to communities across Australia. The tour showcases the artistry and technical skills of artists of The Australian Ballet and graduating students of The Australian Ballet School. In 2017 the tour is expected to reach over 11,000 people in regional locations through performances and community engagement activities.

Artistic Director David McAllister said “Regional touring has been an important feature of the company’s activities since our very first tour back in 1966. Since 1980 the tour has partnered with The Australian Ballet School to undertake annual tours to regional centres, presenting a wide selection of our company’s diverse repertoire across the country. This year we are taking one of the most treasured works – the romantic classic Giselle on the road. This is a ballet that all dancers love dancing and I am sure these dancers will follow in the footsteps of world-famous Italian ballet dancer Carlotta Grisi, who was so well known for performing the role of Giselle.

Executive Director Libby Christie said, “From our earliest years, The Australian Ballet has been committed to bringing world-class ballet to regional communities and we’re thrilled to be taking this production of Giselle on tour in 2017. Beyond performances, we will also connect with regional communities through a range of activities in theatres and local schools. Our touring party of 49 is preparing to cover more than 5,000 km this year. We are looking forward to continuing our tradition of presenting unforgettable experiences for our regional audiences.

Having gripped audiences the world-over since it first premiered in 1841 in Paris, Giselle’s tragic story of love, madness and betrayal is played out in secret trysts and ghostly visions across two spectacular acts.

Giselle follows the story of a village girl who falls in love with a man who is not all he seems. When she discovers his deception, she dies of a broken heart. Transformed into a spirit, she is reunited with her lover in a forest haunted by the ghosts of jilted women, and must dance with him until dawn to save his life.

We spoke to artistic director David McCallister about this production.

As a young dancer, a graduate of The Australian Ballet School, I gave my very first professional performance in Giselle. This year, many of the young dancers you will see on stage are having the same experience.

Since 1841, when Carlotta Grisi first danced the title role of Giselle and Lucien Petipa (brother of the famous Marius) danced Albrecht, the greatest dancers in history have reinterpreted this very human tale of love, betrayal, loss and redemption. In this season, that circle of inspiration continues as a whole new generation of dancers from both The Australian Ballet and The Australian Ballet School bring this ballet to life on stages across the country.

“Our 2017 tour is led by former Principal Artist Steven Heathcote, one of Australia’s most acclaimed Albrechts, and it has been marvellous for the company to benefit from his knowledge. Former Principal Artist Joanne Michel (herself a wonderful Giselle) and ballet masters Paul Knobloch (The Australian Ballet) and Andrew Murphy (The Australian Ballet School), have been taking such care in the revival of this production and will be looking after the company on the road.

It is such a pleasure to bring you this performance of Giselle. If you’re joining us for the first time, I hope you have many more happy times at the ballet.

Catch Giselle at Riverside Theatres on Saturday October 7 for two shows only.

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