Following the creation and success of Dust, Akram Khan’s first work for English National Ballet, Artistic Director Tamara Rojo announces the commission of Akram Khan’s Giselle.
April – July 2016
Akram Khan begins to try out choreographic ideas over several research and development sessions.
Rehearsals with the full Company start.
22 September 2016
First public preview at the Palace Theatre, Manchester.
27 September 2016
World premiere at Palace Theatre, Manchester. The New York Times reviews the work as a “beautiful and intelligent remaking of the beloved classic”. The Company then tours the work to Southampton, Bristol and London, where it opens at Sadler’s Wells on 15 November.
March – July 2017
Akram Kahn’s Giselle receives several awards, including the Robert Robson Best Dance Production prize at the Manchester Theatre Awards and the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance.
At the 2017 Olivier Awards, English National Ballet wins the award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, for expanding its repertoire with Akram Khan’s Giselle and the triple bill She Said.
September – November 2017
First London revival, and first performances in Liverpool, where the piece is filmed for a future cinema release.
Performances in New Zealand, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. This is the Company’s first ever visit to the country. On opening night the fire alarm was activated and the theatre, including the Wilis, had to be evacuated only for the performance to resume shortly after!
25 April 2018
Akram Khan’s Giselle is the first English National Ballet production to receive a cinema release. It is screened across the UK, and then is released in Spain, Portugal, Japan, France, Romania, Germany and more. Later it is broadcast on TV in Japan, Germany, Sweden, Portugal and more.
English National Ballet returns to Dublin for the first time since 1962, with performances at the Bord Gáis Engergy Theatre as part of the Dublin Dance Festival.
Asian premiere at the Grand Theatre in Hong Kong.
Our dancers had a great day off yday, exploring #HongKong and attending a welcome party from the @BritishCouncil ! Today: first rehearsals of Akram Khan's Giselle ahead of sold-out performances this week. Photo: Isabelle Brouwers. Follow her on Instagram https://t.co/3tC3Yj1gNN pic.twitter.com/oKBeHMgwX2
— English National Ballet (@ENBallet) June 27, 2018
October – November 2018
The Royal Ballet of Flanders hire the production and their first performance is presented on 16 October 2018 at the Opera House, Ghent with further performances in Antwerp and Charleroi, Belgium.
28 February 2019
North American premiere at the Harris Theater in Chicago, to wide acclaim. This is the Company’s first visit to the USA in 30 years. Arts lovers from 33 states within the US and 6 countries travel to Chicago to see the production.
The Chicago Tribune says: “It’s stunning – all of it. And this should be said: this is perhaps the most satisfying dance experience I’ve ever had”.
The filmed version is released on DVD and Blu-ray, and broadcast on BBC4 on 31 March.
27 June 2019
The Company makes its first visit to Luxembourg presented at Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.
The Company performs Akram Khan’s Giselle at the prestigious Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, as part of the Chekov International Theatre Festival.
English National Ballet opens its 70th Anniversary season with a further sold-out revival at Sadler’s Wells in September 2019.
International invitations see English National Ballet take the production to the Liceu in Barcelona in May 2022: the Spanish-language newspaper ABC, in its 5-star review, called it “a Giselle that brings down walls”.
The Company also returns to New York for the first time in over 30 years, with performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in June 2022.
🩰🩰Akram Khan’s Giselle: Jaw-dropping. Terrifying. See it x 100. #akramkhan #giselle #englishnationalballet #brooklynacademyofmusic @bam_brooklyn #ballet #moderndance #nyc #performingarts pic.twitter.com/G7OgDRylUV
— Jonah Nigh (@nighjonah) June 9, 2022
In October, the piece receives its French premiere at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The performance on Friday 14 October is the 100th performance of the production since its premiere in 2016 in Manchester: it is also the last ever performance by Tamara Rojo and Stina Quagebeur (the original Myrtha).
The production premieres in its 10th country – Austria, with performances at the Festspielhaus in St. Pölten.
Akram Khan’s Giselle returns to the UK for the first time since 2019, with performances in at the Palace Theatre in Manchester and the Bristol Hippodrome. Both venues were part of the show’s inaugural tour in 2016.
Take a look at just some of the audience reactions we’ve received over the years. Thanks to everyone who has come to see this incredible production throughout its journey. We hope there are many more years and performances left to come!