Synopsis of Giselle (in One Act)

“Giselle” is a hauntingly beautiful ballet that weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and redemption. This adaptation takes place in 1865, set against the backdrop of the mystical and enchanting New Mexican Southwest.

The story unfolds when Giselle, a gentle and loving peasant girl passionate about dance, falls in love with Alberto, a wealthy rancher, and son of the Governor, whose is masquerading as a humble farmer.

The ballet opens with a joyful harvest festival, where the villagers celebrate the fruits of their labor with dance. It is here that Giselle and Alberto’s  love story blossoms. However, their happiness is short-lived as Giselle’s suitor, Hilario, grows suspicious of Alberto’s intentions. His investigations reveal Alberto’s true noble status and his betrothal to Matilde, a revelation that shatters Giselle’s heart. Driven to madness by her profound sorrow and sense of betrayal, Giselle goes mad and dies of a broken heart.

As a result of being betrayed by her lover, In the afterlife, Giselle becomes a “Wili,” a vengeful spirit who dance men to death and are led by a merciless queen, Myrtha.

When Alberto comes to pay his respects at her grave, Giselle’s love for him transcends death. She intervenes to save Alberto from the wrath of Myrtha and the other Wilis, pleading for his life to be spared. However, Myrtha, will not relent.

As dawn approaches, Myrtha and the Wilis retreat. Giselle’s sacrifice saves Alberto, but she must return to the afterlife with the Wilis, leaving behind a bittersweet legacy of love and forgiveness.

-Dominic Guerra-