Review: Dance and Death and Dance, One More! Giselle – The Ballet – Grand Kyiv Ballet

Grand Kyiv Ballet – Giselle
Arlington Byrnes Performing Arts Center
Thursday May 02, 2024
7pm Get tickets and more info here
Ticket Discount Code: gkb2024 (lower case – select seats first then type in code)

Tacoma’s Pantages Theater
Friday May 03, 2024
7pm Get tickets and more info here
Ticket Discount Code: BALLET (all caps)

The story of Giselle has been told and retold for over 180 years. It’s been an opera and a ballet.
The Grand Kyiv Ballet is currently making a 60 city stop on their Spring 2024 Tour presenting
this beloved story. Playing in the Seattle area at several different performance halls, there are
several ways to see this beautiful ballet and understand why it is a classic.

A woman named Giselle lives in the woods with her mother. Giselle is a young woman with a
weak heart and a passion for dance. She is being pursued by two men; Albrecht – Duke of
Silesia, who is disguised as a peasant, and the woodsman Hilarion, who has long been in love
with Giselle. The girl lets Hilarion know she is in love with the peasant “Loys” (the unknown to
her, disguised Duke). The rejected Hilarion vows to undo the two lovers. When the Duke of
Courland and his daughter, Bathilde pass by the house, Giselle offers them rest, food and
water. Bathilde and Giselle become friends and reveal to one another that they are engaged;
Giselle to Loys and Bathilde to the Duke of Silesia. After it is revealed that the two men are one
in the same, Giselle dies of a broken heart.

The Grand Kyiv Ballet is making their first National Tour of the United States. The company is a
pure delight to watch. The story is relatively easy to figure out from the graceful movements
and the elegant gestures of the performers. Granted, I did look up the story line to make sure I
was understanding the points, and was for the most part, on spot. Watching these exquisite
performers move so lithely is pure pleasure. The scenery is simple whether it is the fairytale
cottage in the woods, or the darker, colder site of Giselle’s grave. The lighting is subtle and a
great accent to the mood of the dance.

There are 35 dancers in this tour of Giselle – 25 of them are from Ukraine including the
principal dancers, Kateryna Kukhar and Alex Stoianov, who were unfortunately out for the
performance I saw. The couple (Kukhar and Stoianov) were in Paris when the war broke out in
their home country. Alex and Kateryna have now landed in Seattle.

There are a few more dates to see Giselle. If you can, do it! Your soul will thank you.

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Eric Andrews-Katz

Eric Andrews-Katz

Eric Andrews-Katz has short stories included in over 10 anthologies. He is the author of the Agent Buck 98 Series (“The Jesus Injection” and “Balls & Chain”), and the author of the Greek myth series beginning with the novel TARTARUS. He has conducted celebrity interviews with some of the biggest and best names on Broadway, Hollywood and in literature. He can be found at:

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