PORTLAND – Portland Ballet returns to the stage with the dramatic and romantic masterpiece ballet “Giselle,” with original music by Adolphe Adam and choreography by international ballerina Catherine Batcheller.

This two-act ballet will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Portland High School’s John Ford Theater, 284 Cumberland Ave.

The classic ballet follows innocent country maiden Giselle, who is beloved by the local gamekeeper, Hilarion. She falls desperately in love with Count Alberecht after he showers her with affection. When Giselle discovers that Alberecht is already engaged to a noblewoman, she dies of heartbreak and madness at the end of Act I. She returns in ghost form in Act II and joins the Wilis, the ghosts of jilted maidens who died before their wedding nights.

Between midnight and dawn, the Wilis come from their tombs to seek revenge by forcing any man who enters their domain to dance to death. (This is the origin of the phrase “It gives me the Wilis”). Hilarion, who has been keeping watch over Giselle’s grave, is killed by the Wilis.

Alberecht, laden with feelings of guilt and remorse, visits Giselle’s grave in the forest. She appears in Wili 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 that she will now be one of them for the rest of time.

The part of Giselle will be danced by Portland Ballet principal dancer Nell Shipman. Wyatt Barr portrays Alberecht and Tyler Sperry of Auburn dances as Hilarion. Sperry currently attends the University of Southern Maine.

He has appeared in many PBC productions and performed at Portland Dances!, Capriccio and at Round Top Center for the Performing Arts. Sperry joined the Company in 1999.

Tickets for “Giselle” are $30 for adults, $15 for children and students. They are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 838-3006. For more information, visit www.portlandballet.org.

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