When: Fri., June 11, 7 p.m., Sat., June 12, 2 & 8 p.m. and Sun., June 13, 2 p.m. 2010
The epitome of romantic ballet, Giselle is a wrenchingly poignant tale of unrequited love, remorse, and forgiveness. Nina Ananiashvili and the Tbilisi-based National Ballet of Georgia will be accompanied by the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. Ananiashvili will perform on June 11 and on June 12 at 8 p.m. Sponsored by Shipyard Creek Associates and presented by Spoleto Festival USA. Approximately two hours 10 minutes.
They're not from the Peach State.
Nope, this troupe is based in the Eastern European country, in the capital city of Tbilisi specifically. Founded in 1941, the company fell on hard times in the 1990s, but in the last decade it has established itself as an internationally recognized company.
Nina is a ballerina queen-a
The dancer isn't just the star of Giselle — she's also credited with single-handedly reviving the National Ballet of Georgia when it was close to death. Ananiashvili was dancing with the American Ballet Theatre when she received a call from Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2004. He hired the native Georgian as artistic director, and though she had no management experience, by 2007 she had the company touring internationally to glowing reviews. The New York Times said, "Nina Ananiashvili never fails to light up the stage. The star presence she brings ... invariably fills every scene with drama." Note: Ananiashvili will only dance the evenings of June 11 and 12.
Romance, drama, and blood-thirsty ghosts
This classic romantic ballet, which made its debut in 1841 in Paris, is about a peasant girl (Giselle) who falls in love with a nobleman who's sowing his wild oats before marrying a princess. When Giselle finds out the truth, she dies of a broken heart, then returns to haunt her lover. They're joined by the blood-thirsty Wilis, the spirits of women who died before their wedding days. The punishment? Dancing to death. We can't think of a more lively way to die.