Giselle is a ballet, for those of you that are confused right now. It is one of the ballets I have always wanted to see (the other being Coppelia). (And for those of you that have only heard of a few ballets, yes, I have seen Swan Lake once, and I go to The Nutcracker every year. [Except this year, but that's beside the point.]) The traditional story of Giselle, Reader's Digest version: A young peasant girl and a prince fall in love, but he is in disguise so she doesn't know that he is a prince. There is also a peasant boy in love with her. (Insert random dances with the other townspeople to take up most of the first act.) A bunch of royalty shows up, yada yada. The peasant boy finds out who the prince is, and proves it to the girl. She dies. (Either by stabbing herself with the prince's sword, or from a weak heart, or dances herself to death. It changes. Either way, she's dead.) Then in the second act, the peasant boy visits her grave at night, and is danced to death by the other young girls that died before they were married. Then the prince comes, (same night) and she saves his life by not letting the other dead girls dance with him. And, that's pretty much it. Aw, how romantic. (It's like "zombie bride saves life of beloved, and also doesn't eat his brains". See why I love this ballet?)
But the version we saw, changed a bit. The basic story was the same. Except it was traditional Slovak dances in the first act. Which was really odd, set to classical music. If you have ever seen Slovak daces, you will understand. It involves a lot of stomping and a little bit of yelling. Meaning no one was wearing pointe shoes in the first act, so Giselle couldn't do her traditional solo. Well, she had a few solos, but not with the choreography I had been looking forward to. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL5dKMWkIe0&feature=related attn. 0:26)
It was still really good. I loved the scenery, it was truly spectacular. And in the second act they all had their pointe shoes, so it was a little closer to the traditional version. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, it just wasn't what I had been expecting. It was still a great ballet, done very well. Now I want to actually see the traditional version in person, to see how different they really are.
I'm sorry that I don't have pictures, but we couldn't have cameras in the theater. And they announced that in English too, so I couldn't pull the "poor little american exchange student" act if I got caught. So, no pictures.