With the revival of Giselle , the Stuttgart Ballet lures its audience away into the world of the classical-romantic ballet of the 19th century. It is the new, 1999 version by Reid Anderson and Valentina Savina, based on the choreography of Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa. The story of the peasant girl Giselle, who has been seduced and betrayed by Duke Albrecht, dies of a broken heart and continues to dance as a "Wili" in the spirit world of Queen Myrtha, remains to this day one of the loveliest and most distinctive works of the classical repertoire.
Giselle is a typical expression of the romantic mentality and is embodied by the basic conflict prevalent at that time between actual yet limited reality and an unachievable, beautiful "other world", emphasized effectively on stage by the contrast between the peasant dances in Act 1 and the pure "ballet blanc" in Act 2.
The role of Giselle demands of the ballerina a high degree of expressive power and technical skill, and so it is little wonder that the ballet historian Cyril Beaumont puts the challenging role of Giselle on a par with that of Hamlet for an actor.