The Sierra Nevada Ballet takes the stage this summer to present, Giselle, which is possibly the best-loved of all the world’s ballets. This profound folk tale comes to life through music, drama and over 30 professional dancers who will share this story of doomed love … complete with jealousy, madness and vengeful ghosts. According to the ballet’s artistic director Rosine Bena, “Giselle is steeped in the tradition of ballet and conveys the poetry that makes this great production a must see this summer”.
The performance of Giselle is part of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Monday Night Showcase Series. For complete show information, visit www.laketahoeshakespeare.com or call (800) &$-SHOWS (747-5697). Tickets are $22, $42 and $70.
“Sierra Nevada Ballet will bring professional dancers from around the country to share in this exciting production,” notes Rosine Bena, Artistic Director. The talent includes Erica Chipp who plays the part of Giselle and is from Smuin Ballets of San Francisco; Maykel Solas from Ballet San Jose as Albrecht; Domingo Rubio plays Hilarion and is a former Joffrey ballet principal dancer; and Alexander Biber and Oliver Adams fare from the Sacramento Ballet the lead dancers in the Peasant Pas de Deux and several other scenes in Giselle. Some of the acting roles will be performed by local celebrities such as Mary Bennett who portrays Berthe, the mother of Giselle. Bennett performs at the Bruka Theatre in Reno, Nv. throughout the year.
This particular production of Giselle is based on the original choreography which was done in 1841 by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli. The present production is set by Rosine Bena and based on the famous Igor Youskevitch’s version which was passed down to Bena in the late 1970’s. Bena enjoyed a 28 year professional ballet stage career and was reviewed as a “prima” for her interpretation of the famous classics including the role of Giselle. Igor Youskevitch is considered one of the greatest male dancers of the 20th century.
“I believe that artists should help lead society,” says Bena. “In keeping with that ideal and to supplement the professional cast of ten professional dancers, I auditioned experienced dancers from different arts organizations throughout the west. Though the dancers come from different areas and were trained in different styles, they have joined together to work as a unit to produce a high level quality production.”
By joining the variety of talents together on one stage, Bena feels the entire cast of Giselle is an “ inspiration and a great example of what we can achieve by working together toward the same end.”
Bringing such a large production to Lake Tahoe is a very big step for Sierra Nevada Ballet and presenting a classical story ballet is an even greater leap. The Ballet Board of Directors joins Bena in thinking that the community is not only ready for this but is hungry for more of the classics. “Each time we present a small excerpt of professional classical ballet on a mixed program, the classical is reviewed as the ‘favorite’ by the audience. Oddly enough even the male members of the audience are captivated by the classics. There is something about the story that speaks to the soul of every person in every walk of life. Giselle is the best loved of all the classical ballets because everyone can relate to the unforgettable characters and the touching love story,” says Bena.