Portland Ballet Company will present ‘Giselle’

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WESTBROOK — The Portland Ballet Company will perform the classic romantic ballet “Giselle” on Saturday, March 17 and 24, at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center at Westbrook Middle School.

“Giselle” is the quintessential story of unrequited love. Giselle is an innocent country maiden, beloved by the local gamekeeper, Hilarion. She falls desperately in love with Count Albrecht, a nobleman who showers Giselle with his affections while disguised as a peasant. When Giselle discovers that Albrecht is already engaged to a noblewoman, she loses her mind and tragically dies of broken hearted madness at the end of the first act. She returns in Act II as a ghost to join the Wilis, other ghost maidens who have died before their wedding nights, also victims of heartbreak.

Between midnight and dawn, the Wilis emerge from their tombs to seek revenge, forcing any man who enters their domain to dance to his death (this is the origin of the phrase “it gives me the Wilis”). Albrecht, laden with feelings of guilt and remorse, visits Giselle’s grave in the forest. She appears in ghost form and forgives him, saving him from the same fate as the other men who enter the forest. Giselle then retreats with the Wilis, understanding she is one of them for the rest of time.

The March 17 performance will be at 8 p.m.; the March 24 performance at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets, $35 for adults/$15 for children, are available through PortTix by calling 842-0800 or visiting www.porttix.com.

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