Giselle

A new production of Giselle, that mainstay of 19th-century romantic repertory, isn’t necessarily a ground-breaking event; it’s been popularly and regularly restaged since 1841. Yet thanks to a series of happy accidents and serendipitous discoveries, PNB's new rendition has more fully developed characters, more filigreed movement, and whole subplots that have been revived. The balance of the production, directed by Peter Boal (aided by a cadre of leading dance scholars), has tilted back to half-dancing, half-acting. This is more than just fluffing up the pillows: The drama is more acute as young peasant girl Giselle is romanced and betrayed by a nobleman in disguise, dies of a broken heart, becomes a ghost, yet still forgives him. Of the three couples who performed the main roles on opening weekend, Kaori Nakamura and Lucien Postlewaite have the most fully developed partnership. The tenderness of their relationship in the opening scenes made their eventual falling-out even sharper. SANDRA KURTZ

Fri., June 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 4, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Thu., June 9, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., June 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., June 11, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., June 12, 1 p.m., 2011

 
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