Love and betrayal – the two main themes in Giselle, to this day one of the masterpieces of the classical ballet repertoire. The lovely farmer’s girl Giselle not only loves dancing but also charming Albrecht. The handsome prince courts her although he is promised to someone else. When the truth is revealed, Giselle loses her mind and dies, heartbroken. After her death, she joins the ranks of the Vilis – ghostly brides-to-be who died before their wedding. Every night, Giselle and the Vilis are doomed to lure men into dancing until they die from exhaustion with Myrtha, the Queen of the Vilis, orchestrating the nightly rituals. Then Albrecht ventures into the forest to visit Giselle's tomb.
The wish of 19th century choreographers' to portray ghostly floating elves on stage was the reason ballerinas danced through otherworldly backdrops «en pointe» from then on. True to the French ballet tradition, Patrice Bart created his version of Giselle, following the original choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, while, at the same time, expressing the fresh and timeless movement language of Romantic ballet. The set design by Peter Farmer also takes its inspiration from the aesthetic ideal of said era. Patrice Bart’s beautiful Giselle already premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2000.