San Diego Ballet Debuts World-Premiere of “Giselle”

| April 4, 2022 | 0 Comments

Bringing the beauty of classical ballet front and center, San Diego Ballet will debut the world-premiere of “Giselle” at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 21 and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at Balboa Theatre, located at 868 Fourth Avenue in downtown San Diego, A traditional French ballet set during a wine festival in France, San Diego Ballet’s new staging of “Giselle” by Artistic Director Javier Velasco shifts the locale to early San Diego. Three years in the making, this haunting rumination on romantic love and sacrifice tells the tale of a simple peasant girl whose love for a nobleman sparks tragedy.

Javier Velasco, artistic director of San Diego Ballet offered, “Traditionally, placed in 19th century Europe, our evocative production shifts the locale to the pueblos and ranchos of early San Diego. San Diego Ballet is committed to the presentation of work that speaks to our Southern California audiences and this production does just that.”

In Act One, Alberto, a nobleman, is awestruck by the beauty of Giselle, a peasant girl, and disguises himself as a peasant to win her love. Hilario, a peasant boy who also loves Giselle, becomes suspicious after witnessing an exchange between Alberto and another villager. After retrieving proof that Alberto has been lying, Hilario denounces him as an imposter. The shock of learning of Alberto’s betrayal is too great for Giselle whose mind becomes unhinged and dies of a broken heart.

Act Two is set at the grave of Giselle. Hilario is seen fashioning a cross to plant at Giselle’s grave in hopes of keeping her from becoming a vengeful Lloranas, the beautiful spirits of young women seeking revenge on the men who betrayed them forcing them to dance to their death, but ultimately meets his death at the hands of the Lloranas. Alberto arrives to leave flowers on Giselle’s grave but becomes trapped and commanded to dance until death. Giselle appears to protect him and dances with him until the clock strikes four, at which hour the Lloranas lose their power, and Alberto is rescued from death.

This haunting romantic production will be performed at the Balboa Theatre.Tickets are available for purchase online starting at $47 per person. Per the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least two weeks after final dose) or provide proof of a negative test 48 hours before for a PCR test and 24 hours before for a rapid antigen test. Rapid testing will also be available on-site courtesy of Lux Concierge for $40 per person one hour before the performance. For more information on San Diego Ballet, please visit

Jessica Conniff is cast as Llorana. Photo is courtesy of Canela Photography.

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