CULTURE

Athens Concert Hall begins its winter season with the timeless ‘Giselle’

The Athens Concert Hall will launch into the winter season with a production of Adolphe Adam’s ballet Giselle. The ballet was first performed at the Opera of Paris in 1841 to the famous choreography by Coralli and Perrot, and helped Italian prima ballerina Carlotta Grisi gain legendary status for her interpretation of the title role. A powerful ballet, which is both physically and psychologically demanding of its dancers, Giselle moves from the bucolic reality of a young farm maiden in Act I to a fantastical world of symbols and the battle of love against death in Act II. Though many eminent dancers have performed the lead role, critics say that Giselle should ideally be performed by a Russian, since her role in the ballet mirrors the elements of self-sacrifice and belief in eternal love so typical of Russian culture. But as with all great works, Giselle contains those timeless qualities which allow choreographers of different periods to discover new elements that can be adapted to suit all times. The Athens Concert Hall’s production of Giselle has been choreographed for the corps de ballet of the Sofia State Opera by Leonidas de Pian, which he has done along the lines of the original choreography by Coralli and Perrot. Starring as Giselle on Saturday, Sunday and October 9 is former Kirov Ballet dancer Julia Makhalina, who will alternate with rising star Diana Vishneva on October 10, 12 and 13. The role of Albrecht has been given to two prominent dancers in international ballet, Igor Zelensky, who will accompany Makhalina, and Vladimir Malakhov, who will dance alongside Vishneva. The music will be performed by the Athens State Orchestra under the baton of the eminent Robert Luther. Kathimerini met with Angelopoulos on the set at the Thessaloniki port. Under the searing September sun he was planning shots and studying the construction plans that will render exact replicas of the homes that gave shelter to thousands of refugees.