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ABT News

November 30, 2004


Alessandra Ferri, Julie Kent, and Amanda McKerrow Among Principals Performing the Role of Giselle

2004-05 Marks Ferri's 20th Anniversary Season with ABT

Following its triumphant return to Chicago last Spring after a nine-year absence, the internationally-renowned American Ballet Theatre will present the full-length romantic classic, Giselle, in eight performances only, at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, April 19-24, 2005. This engagement marks the Chicago Premiere of Giselle as staged by American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.

American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancers Alessandra Ferri and Angel Corella will dance the roles of the ill-fated lovers, Giselle and Albrecht, on the Opening Night program, Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Ferri’s appearances in Chicago also celebrate her 20th Anniversary season with American Ballet Theatre. Ferri, who joined the Company as a Principal Dancer in 1985 after a five-year career with The Royal Ballet, has danced nearly all of the major ballerina roles including Nikiya in La Bayadère, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and the title role in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, as well as such contemporary works as Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances and Agnes de Mille’s Fall River Legend. Ferri is a permanent guest artist with La Scala in Milan and is renowned as an international guest artist.

Additional casts of Giselle include ABT Principal Dancers Julie Kent and Amanda McKerrow. Complete casting will be announced at a later date.

“We are particularly pleased to return to Chicago and the magnificent Civic Opera House,” said Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. “Our engagement last year, after an almost decade-long absence, was a box office and critical success. We hope to build upon that achievement and look forward to performing for Chicago audiences year after year.”

Giselle tells the tale of the weak-hearted peasant girl whose love for Albrecht, a nobleman in disguise, is not realized until her death. Upon dying, Giselle is transported to the moonlit land of the “Wilis”, vengeful spirits of brides who have died before their wedding day. With its sense of mystery, undying love and redemption, Giselle is considered the quintessential Romantic ballet.”

This production of Giselle, with scenery by Gianni Quaranta, costumes by Anna Anni and lighting by Jennifer Tipton, was created for the 1987 film Dancers (Cannon Films) which incorporates the ballet into its storyline. It was staged at that time by Mikhail Baryshnikov after Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa, with additional staging by John Taras and Elena Tchernichova. McKenzie restaged the ballet, with the Quaranta sets and Anni costumes in 1995. American Ballet Theatre’s 85+ member company will be accompanied by a live orchestra performing the traditional Adolphe Adam score.

Giselle is the oldest continually-performed ballet, having had its World Premiere on June 28, 1841 at the Theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique in Paris, with choreography by Coralli and Perrot. Since then, this ballet has entered the repertoire of almost all of the major ballet companies in the world. Giselle was first presented by American Ballet Theatre (then Ballet Theatre) during the Company’s inaugural season at the Center Theatre in New York City on January 12, 1940.

Performances of Giselle at the Civic Opera House are as follows: Tuesday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 20, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, April 22, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 23, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 24, at 2 p.m.

Tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s Giselle, which range in price from $90 – $18, can be purchased by calling (312) 902-1500; visiting the Civic Opera House box office; or on line at Groups of 15 or more can receive discount pricing by calling (312) 922-2110, ext. 357.

Countrywide Financial is the National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre and Cole Haan is a Leading Benefactor. For more information on American Ballet Theatre’s presentation of Giselle at the Civic Opera House April 19-24, 2005, please call (312) 902-1500 or visit".

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