Paris Opéra Up Close
Photography by Jim Lafferty
Paris Opéra Ballet’s Giselle is a quintessentially French fairy-tale: It’s moody and mercurial, fanciful and romantic, elegant and heartbreaking. Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot originally choreographed Giselle for POB in 1841, giving the company a unique connection to the ballet. The version performed today was staged by former ballet masters Patrice Bart and Eugene Polyakov in 1991. “Bart was a pure product of the French school, while Polyakov contributed his Russian experience,” says artistic director Brigitte Lefèvre. “They brought their personal touch to this Giselle, they made it evolve. We went back to the sets and costumes created by Alexandre Benois in 1924, which I find very poetic. It contributes to the sense of heritage in this production.” While POB was at Lincoln Center this July, Pointe captured the dress rehearsal for the company’s 767th performance of the ballet.