Akram Khan's Giselle

London and International Tour
18 Sep - 18 Jul
1 hour 55 minutes
including one interval
The iconic ballet, reimagined.

Following performances in Auckland, Dublin and Hong Kong last season, we continue to bring Akram Khan’s Giselle to international stages, and return to London in September 2019.

In this acclaimed version by Akram Khan, the greatest Romantic ballet and its story of love, betrayal and redemption are reimagined.

As the curtain rises, dancers in shadow push against a large wall. From that moment on, Akram Khan’s Giselle stuns with powerful images and mesmerising choreography.

The “ominous, gothic” score (The Observer) by Vincenzo Lamagna is adapted from Adolphe Adam’s original, and performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Sets and costumes by Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip and atmospheric lighting design by Mark Henderson conjure up a condemned factory and the vengeful ghosts that appear in its shadows.

Since its premiere in 2016, Akram Khan’s Giselle has resonated with audiences around the world, from Manchester to Moscow.

Booking for Akram Khan’s Giselle at Sadler’s Wells? Friends of English National Ballet save 20% on tickets (T&Cs apply). Become a Friend today.

Buy the DVD of Akram Khan’s Giselle here.

Main image: Tamara Rojo as Giselle. Photo © Jason Bell. Art Direction and Design by Charlotte Wilkinson Studio.
It may well rank as a masterpiece of 21st century dance
The Mail on Sunday

Explore

MEET THE PRINCIPAL CAST

See casting for all dates

Please note that casting is subject to change

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

CREATIVE TEAM

Akram Khan

Direction and Choreography

Tim Yip

Visual and Costume Design

Vincenzo Lamagna

Composition and Sound Design, after the original score by Adolphe Adam

Gavin Sutherland

Orchestration

Mark Henderson

Lighting Design

Ruth Little

Dramaturgy

Andrej Petrovic

Assistant Choreographer

Mavin Khoo

Rehearsal Director

Yvonne Gilbert

Sound Designer

Synopsis

Act I

Giselle is one of a community of migrant garment factory workers (the Outcasts). Dispossessed of their jobs by the factory’s closure, and separated by a high wall from their hopes of livelihood and security, the Outcasts function as little more than exotic entertainment for the factory Landlords.

In Act I, the wealthy Albrecht disguises himself as an Outcast in order to visit his lover Giselle. But his presence is noted by Hilarion – Giselle’s would-be lover – a shape-changing ‘fixer’ who trades with and mimics the Landlords for his own and his community’s profit.

Albrecht’s wooing of Giselle is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of the Landlords. Seeing his fiancée Bathilde among them, Albrecht tries to hide. Giselle recognizes the fine dress worn by Bathilde as the product of her own factory labour. The Outcasts dance for the Landlords until Albrecht and Hilarion disturb the Ceremony with their conflict.

Bathilde’s father confronts Albrecht, forcing him to return to Bathilde and to their world. When he submits and returns to Bathilde, Giselle is driven mad with grief. The Landlord gives a command, and the Outcasts encircle Giselle. When the crowd disperses, her lifeless body is revealed. Denying any responsibility, the Landlords retreat beneath the Wall.

Act II

A wrecked, abandoned ‘ghost’ factory is revealed – a place where Giselle and her female co-workers have labored, and many have died. Here Albrecht, grieving for Giselle, confronts and condemns the Landlords.

Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis (ghosts of factory workers who seek revenge for the wrongs done to them in life), enters, driving Albrecht away. She summons Giselle from her lifeless body into the realm of death, to join the company of the remorseless Wilis.

Hilarion enters to mourn at Giselle’s grave. The Wilis surround him, demanding retribution for Giselle’s death, and Hilarion is brutally killed.

Albrecht returns and becomes aware of Giselle’s presence. The lovers are reunited on the threshold between life and death. Breaking the cycle of violence – and defying Myrtha’s command – Giselle forgives Albrecht and releases him into life.

The Wilis depart with Giselle, and Albrecht, now an outcast from his own community, is left alone by the Wall.

Tamara-Rojo-and-James-Streeter-in-Akram-Khan's-Giselle-(C)-Laurent-Liotardo

Credits

Your Comments

Meet the principal cast

View by

Please note that casting is subject to change

Sadler's Wells, London, Wed 18 September 2019, 7.30pm

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Thu 19 September 2019, 2pm

Fernanda Oliveira

Giselle

Aitor Arrieta

Albrecht

Erik Woolhouse

Hilarion

Isabelle Brouwers

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Thu 19 September 2019, 7.30pm

Erina Takahashi

Giselle

Joseph Caley

Albrecht

Ken Saruhashi

Hilarion

Sarah Kundi

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Fri 20 September 2019, 7.30pm

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Sat 21 September 2019, 2.30pm

Fernanda Oliveira

Giselle

Aitor Arrieta

Albrecht

Erik Woolhouse

Hilarion

Isabelle Brouwers

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Sat 21 September 2019, 7.30pm

Erina Takahashi

Giselle

Joseph Caley

Albrecht

Ken Saruhashi

Hilarion

Sarah Kundi

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Mon 23 September 2019, 7.30pm

Alina Cojocaru

Giselle

Isaac Hernández

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Sarah Kundi

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Tue 24 September 2019, 7.30pm

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Ken Saruhashi

Hilarion

Sarah Kundi

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Wed 25 September 2019, 7.30pm

Crystal Costa

Giselle

Aitor Arrieta

Albrecht

Daniel McCormick

Hilarion

Sarah Kundi

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Thu 26 September 2019, 7.30pm

Alina Cojocaru

Giselle

Isaac Hernández

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Fri 27 September 2019, 7.30pm

Erina Takahashi

Giselle

Joseph Caley

Albrecht

Ken Saruhashi

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Sat 28 September 2019, 2.30pm

Crystal Costa

Giselle

Aitor Arrieta

Albrecht

Daniel McCormick

Hilarion

Isabelle Brouwers

Myrtha

Sadler's Wells, London, Sat 28 September 2019, 7.30pm

Alina Cojocaru

Giselle

Isaac Hernández

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Stina Quagebeur

Myrtha

Teatro Real, Madrid, Thu 10 October 2019, 8pm

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion

Teatro Real, Madrid, Fri 11 October 2019, 8pm

Erina Takahashi

Giselle

Aitor Arrieta

Albrecht

Erik Woolhouse

Hilarion

Teatro Real, Madrid, Sat 12 October 2019, 5pm

Alina Cojocaru

Giselle

Isaac Hernández

Albrecht

Ken Saruhashi

Hilarion

Teatro Real, Madrid, Sat 12 October 2019, 9pm

Tamara Rojo CBE

Giselle

James Streeter

Albrecht

Jeffrey Cirio

Hilarion