Akram Khan's Giselle
Available on Prime Video, Marquee TV
Choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan’s first full-length ballet for the English National Ballet (ENB) first premiered in 2016 in London. Inspired by the 1841 ballet, the story follows a peasant girl – Giselle – who falls in love with a Duke called Albrecht. Heartache ensues when Giselle realizes she has been deceived by the Duke who is betrothed to another. Mad with grief she dies, falling victim in death to an evil sisterhood who want her to seek vengeance on her loved one. Masterfully updating both the setting and musical score, this is Khan’s first interpretation of a classical ballet. His ''Giselle,'' played here by the sublime ENB Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo, is now part of a community of migrant workers based in a garment factory. It is a bold move but one that pays off. The production carries all the hallmarks of Khan’s signature choreography from Kathak-inspired gestures, classical and contemporary dance steps, and high emotional intensity. Referred to as, ''entrancingly sad,'' ''thought-provoking,'' and ''beautiful'' Khan’s work is accompanied by a haunting score by Vincenzo Lamagna and includes some stunning synchronized ensemble moments. Fine performances include Stena Quagebeur as Myrtha and Jeffrey Cirio as Hilarion; the latter also shining brightly in the title role of Khan’s cinematic exploration, ''Creature'' (2023). An ethereal and original look at the spirituality of love and redemption.