Co-choreographed by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, Giselle will make its American Repertory Ballet premiere at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in March 2023. This celebrated and moving production had its world premiere at the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2012, and has since toured the globe. Giselle was adapted into a feature film directed by Tao Fraser, selected for screening in the NZ International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Stiefel and Kobborg’s Giselle will be restaged and partially redesigned specifically for American Repertory Ballet by an award-winning and renowned creative team.
Music by ADOLPHE ADAM
Choreography by JOHAN KOBBORG and ETHAN STIEFEL (after Marius Petipa)
Scenic Design by HOWARD JONES (rendering featured above)
Costume Design by NATALIA STEWART
Lighting Design by JOSEPH R. WALLS
The tragic tale unfolds against the ghostly backdrop of a Rhineland forest haunted by the fearful presence of the “Wilis” – vengeful spirits of abandoned brides. The beautiful peasant girl, Giselle, falls for Albrecht who conceals his identity to win her. The discovery of her lover’s deception shatters Giselle’s innocence and causes her to die of a broken heart. Albrecht is thrown into the hands of the merciless Wilis, but Giselle cannot bear to watch him die and returns as a ghost to save him.
One of the most romantic story ballets of all time, Giselle illustrates the strength of love, the devastation of betrayal, and the power of forgiveness.
Location: New Brunswick Performing Arts Center | New Brunswick, NJ
* Photos: Permission of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. RNZB Giselle photos of Qi Huan and Gillian Murphy, Credit Evan Li. RNZB Giselle photo of Act 2 The Wilis, Credit Maarten Holl.
ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHERS
Johan Kobborg is a choreographer and former Principal Dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet and The Royal Ballet London, and most recently is the Former Artistic Director of the Ballet Opera National Bucharest. Kobborg has performed with some of the leading companies in the world, such as the Mariinsky, the Bolshoi, American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada. As a choreographer, he has created works for companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, The Sarasota Ballet and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. (Photo by Morgan Norman)
Ethan Stiefel is an internationally renowned Dancer, Instructor, Coach, Director and Choreographer. Stiefel became American Repertory Ballet’s Artistic Director in July, 2021. In 1989, Stiefel began his professional career at age 16 with the New York City Ballet where he quickly rose to the rank of Principal Dancer. Stiefel was also a Principal Dancer with Ballett Zürich followed by being a Principal Dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) from 1997-2012. Stiefel has served as Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) as well as the Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. During his celebrated performing career, Stiefel danced leading roles in all the full-length classics and performed in an extensive range of shorter classical, contemporary, and modern works. Guest appearances include dancing with The Royal Ballet, The Mariinsky Ballet, New York City Ballet, Teatro Colon, The Australian Ballet and many others. He has appeared in numerous film, video and television productions including the feature film Center Stage and the documentary Born to be Wild. As a choreographer, he has created new works for American Repertory Ballet, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, The Washington Ballet, ABT Studio Company, Northern Ballet (UK), The Royal Ballet School, UNCSA, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the television series Flesh and Bone on the STARZ network. Stiefel has received a number of prestigious awards such as the Statue Award of the Princess Grace Foundation and the Dance Magazine Award. (Photo by Harald Schrader)