Give Yourself the 'Wilis' with Giselle at Mercyhurst
This darkly tragic and deeply moving story is coming to the stage at Mercyhurst University's Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center
Friday, Nov. 22 – 24
Upon its premiere in Paris in 1841, the ballet Giselle was an instant success.
Just look at all the compelling elements that make up this classic: Beautiful, naive peasant girl who dies of heartbreak? Check. Wicked seducer of innocents who must pay for what he has done in an utterly horrific fashion? Check. Spooky spirits of women who were betrayed and died of heartbreak (called "Wilis"), and who take their revenge by inducing disloyal lovers to dance until they die? Also check.
It is no wonder that Giselle, ultimately a story of forgiveness and love, was a smash hit 178 years ago and has remained one of the most popular ballets, staged all over the world, ever since.
Now, this darkly tragic and deeply moving story is coming to the stage at Mercyhurst University's Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center, for a four-performance engagement presented by the MU Dance Department. Portraying the lead role of Giselle are senior dance major Megan Carnuche and sophomore dance major Mary Joy White, with guest dancer (and MU '10 alum) Justin Michael Hogan as Giselle's lover, Duke Albrecht.
The ensemble is rounded out by some 60 other performers, with the Mercyhurst Civic Orchestra performing the score live, under the direction of Jonathan Moser.
Retired dance professor Tauna Hunter, who herself portrayed Giselle throughout her career, has returned to direct this production. She commented, "The choreography for this ballet has withstood the test of time and is the only ballet in the classical repertoire that remains true to the original."
The public is also invited to the $50 pre-performance gala reception prior to the Friday show, which benefits the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund and SafeNet. — Cara Suppa
Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. // 501 E. 38th St // Adults $16, seniors $11, students $8.50, youth $6 // miac.mercyhurst.edu/events/giselle