After the darkness of “Macbeth” in July, Culture at the Cinema is taking a turn towards dance. The Bolshoi Ballet’s production of Giselle will be screened at Camana Bay Cinema on Aug. 18, and although the story is not a happy one, it is balanced with the beauty of the choreography and some of the world’s top dancers performing on stage.


When Giselle learns that her beloved Albrecht is promised to another woman, she dies of a broken heart in his arms. While Albrecht grieves, she returns from the dead, summoned by one of the Wilis: Young women who died before their wedding day and who make unfaithful men dance until death.

Albrecht falls into their trap, yet Giselle’s intercession saves him and releases her from the Wilis’s power.


“Giselle” hails from classical ballet’s romantic era, joining the roster of ballets known as “Ballet Blanc” (also known as the great white ballets) such as “Les Sylphides,” “La Sylphide” and “Swan Lake.” The term “Ballet Blanc” or white ballet refers to ballets inspired by the 19th century romantic style and is often considered the pure, classical form of ballet, where the lead ballerina and supporting corps de ballet all wear white. As one of ballet’s most popular works to date, “Giselle” is one of the oldest classical ballets continually performed by ballet companies around the world.

It first premiered at the Paris Opera on June 28, 1841. Following the premiere, the ballet was staged all over Europe, Russia and the United States.

Prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova alongside Sergei Polunin as Albrecht

Cast and crew

Prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova personifies this ultimate ballerina role, alongside the sensational Sergei Polunin as Albrecht, in this chilling, yet luminous ballet that continues to captivate audiences for over 150 years.

Music is by Adolphe Adam and the choreographer is Yuri Grigorovich.