Did you see Giselle on opening weekend?  We want to hear what you think in the comments below!  Which act was your favorite?  What did you think of our sets and costumes from Italy?  Did you have a favorite moment?  Did you like Giselle best as a sweet country girl, or a crazy madwoman, or a ghost?  Is Albrecht a cad, or a decent guy in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Did the Wilis give you the willies?  Give us the scoop!

P.S.  Did you know that if you go see one of our ballets a second time, you get in for half-price?  If you want to deepen your experience by watching another cast and their unique interpretations of these iconic roles, click here to check out next weekend’s casting and call 503-2-BALLET to buy tickets!

32 thoughts on “YOU TELL US: What Did You Think of “Giselle”?

  1. I love the visual effect of the shrouds of the Wilis rising and falling around Myrtha like the ground-hugging mist, as well as the simple lifts that start in one direction but change immediately to the other; and the petal-counting scene is simply charming.

  2. I thought it was one of the finest productions I’ve seen in a long time, comparable to any international ballet company and artists. The staging by Lola de Avila was a god-send. The woman showed her respect and love for that ballet enough to touch the newest corps de ballet member to the principal dancers. The set was breathtakingly beautiful. The dancing touched magic. I’ve written a blog on it and have recommended it to all my ‘friends’ here on FB to see this final weekend. As a former dancer, current ballet instructor/director, and a balletomane for 50 years, I have never done this for any production. As I say in my blog, accolades to Christopher Stowell and his fine taste and direction in making this ballet live and soar. Mr. Stowell, there are people who notice your exceptional choices. I am one. Here is my blog, if you can access it: https://www.facebook.com/#!/DeborahHigginbotham/timeline/story?ut=32&wstart=1325404800&wend=1328083199&hash=10150550764765895

  3. Saw Giselle Saturday night – LOVED Haiyan as Giselle – she was amazing! The formality of the traditional story ballet sequences in the first Act paled in comparison to the amazing second Act with the Wilis and the fabulous corps de ballet work. I loved the costumes and the tulle and the mist and the choreography. My favorite scene was when Haiyan “saves” Albrecht from the beautiful Alison Roper as the Wilis Queen. (Although I have to admit I was picturing in my head something more dramatic like the Spider Queen piece done a few years back by OBT) Tears in my eyes as Giselle is “sucked” offstage in the closing scene to R.I.P. Beautiful. The set was incredible and the symphony always makes it amazing. Bravo!

  4. It was beautiful! Went to matinee yesterday. Lead dancer had perfect technique. I have been dancing over 53 years. Excellent performance. All of the performers hard work paid off! keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. One of the most stunning performance we have seen. Enjoyed it tremendously. Ms. Wu as Giselle is superb. Her graceful dance steps and body language convey the mood and the feeling of the character effortlessly and with grace. Chauncey and Alison are marvelous as well. Every one deserves great applauds. As audience we thank you for the talent and the effort.

  6. I was thrilled to be a part of the opening night audience. What a perfect show to highlight the massive talent of OBT’s female dancers! The entire Second Act with the Wilis is entrancing, and the pas de deux in the First Act is a great way to “introduce” Julia Rowe to anyone in Portland who has not yet enjoyed the beautiful technique of this up-and-comer. Not to leave out Chauncey, of course… he is a strong lead and his leaps are astounding! Bravo to all!

  7. Oh my goodness, I LOVED this production! Lush looking sets and costumes laid the way for some spectacular dancing. I felt particularly proud of the great work of the corps de ballet as a whole. Chauncey Parsons was a revelation as Albrecht. He was cheeky in the first act, and profound in the second- he really showed the full arc of his character’s evolution, and that’s what this ballet is about. Haiyan Wu was a delicate and charming Giselle. People seated all around me were tearing up as the tragedy unfolded. Bravo, OBT!

  8. I often am bored by programs that seem to be a series of dance exhibitions, and I was not very engaged by the first act of Giselle, not that the dancing was poor. However, I found the second act to be one of the most impressive and engaging experiences of ballet I have ever had. I thought the dancing by the chorus and principals was superb not to mention the choreography.


  9. I have seen Giselle performed three times in PDX and this was by far the most OUTSTANDING production I have seen. The sets were gorgeous, the orchestra played beautifully, Haiyan was a stunning Giselle, so graceful and dramatic, Alison Roper (who typically lights up with her smile on stage) kept a stoic face and played the role of the Queen of the Willis so well. Chauncey took his character to a high level physically and dramatically showed his love for Giselle. He really came across beautifully. The Willis tulle over the head costumes gave a great macabre effect.
    I applaud Christopher and Lola (her supportive direction was obvious).
    The whole troupe nailed it!!!

    Thanks Alison for the OBTea!!!

  10. Joan (another balletomane) After a career mostly in Holland and Europe, I am delighted to have finally seen such careful, serious attention to an “old” ballet. OBT kids have risen to a higher level thanks to the care and direction of de Avila….what a blessing to know such quality exists, esp. after that terrible farce of poor Petrushka. Chris is a good director, but that one was such a phony! (Good thing no one asked for my opinion.) We have tickets to 3 of the series for next season and I hope such excellent dancing will
    continue. Will Lola de Avila be able to set/rehearse further ballets? She used so carefully
    and artistically the talents and techniques of the soloists as well as the corps. It was a sensational presentation and performance….many thanks!!

  11. Oh My!! Sunday afternoon with Yuka and Yang and Alison was exquisite from beginning to end. Music, sets, and lovely romantic ballet from everyone in the cast. Not the Willis, but the chills!! Fabulous. I have seen Giselle many times before, but never like that. Thank you!

  12. We absolutely loved the performance on opening night! Every step,
    every moment was just wonderful. We are so grateful to have OBT in
    our city. We’ve never been disappointed, but this was the best!!

    1. We saw Giselle Sunday Matt. I have loved that ballet for over 50 years so it was a great
      joy to see such quality and attention to classical details. Very lucky Chris knows de Avila.
      I enjoy the whole goofy story, always have. We don’t fuss over details re: peasant girl,
      sudden Willis.

  13. We loved “Giselle”! The sets, the costumes, the staging – all were wonderful. And the dancers: it was so nice to see the stage filled with them in the peasant, noble, and ethereal costumes. All were excellent, but Chauncy’s dancing under the spell of the Willis was just incredible!

  14. It was beautiful. We saw it Sunday afternoon and the dancers were magnificent. Each of the principle dancers were terrific but I was especially glad to see Ms. Roper again. Special commendation to the Corps. I never once thought of them as background. Their performances were crucial to the atmosphere of the second act and they were superb.

  15. As a New Yorker steeped in ABT, I was very impressed with the Sunday matinee performance. Your use of the Italian sets and costumes was inspired. But Yuko Ino was truly wonderful as Giselle. She had the perfect dramatic flair and did not overact in the ‘mad scene’. As a “Willi”, she displayed her natural delicacy and was wistful in the pas de deux. Altogether, a first rate performance.

  16. The stars were fantastic. I had not noticed Parsons prowess before. The rest if the cast was also superb. Well done and totally enjoyable.

  17. The production was outstanding. It is my favorite ballet. We enjoyed every moment. OBT’s dancers are well trained and very versatile. I would love to see them dance Bournonville ballets.

  18. I have had Sunday matinee season tickets for years. This was the most outstanding performance I have seen to date. Yuko was an inspired Giselle. Both her dancing and acting were flawless. Yang, too, gave an equally outstanding performance (I mentioned to my friend that he is the Chinese Baryshnikov. No wonder Christopher hired him). They worked beautifully together. Both the mad scene and Allison and the Willi’s of the second act created a visceral response. It was unbelievable! I loved Swan Lake but this was over the top! Thank you so much for bringing the classical ballets back to Portland.

  19. I took my two granddaughters and we were all spellbound. Really wonderful staging, dancing and music. I’m so happy to live in Portland where I can share my love of ballet with the children. I’m sure this performance of Giselle will be unforgettable for them.

  20. Absolutely fantastic. I’ve seen Giselle a number of times over the years (since ’88), and this was superb, as so much of what OBT does, is. OBT remains cutting edge, willing to try new adaptations and choreography, which keeps it a vital ballet company. You got me, OBT.

  21. The corps dancing was excellent, really strong. The sets were magnificent, worth th effort. Ino was lovely, sympathetic, effective, but her prince was weak, although better in the second act, especially with beats. Hilarion was noticably weak: gangly, distorted body line, fuzzy technique. Why is this dancer in this otherwise quite competent company? And why was is necssary to hire a guest artist as Giselle’s mother rather than drawing from your own company?

  22. This production was world class. I saw Giselle in St. Petersburg a few years ago and everything about this was better; costumes, choreography, set. I love having the live music also. Bravo to OBT!

  23. I was initially very skeptical of such an “old” ballet (oh, those arabesques), but after seeing it performed by some of my favorite dancers, I realized why it has endured for so many years. I loved it! Chauncey’s performance was incredible, and I’m quickly growing to love Haiyan as one of our newest principals. I thought the corps tackled what appear to be very challenging steps very well, and it was great to see yet another success from Julia – she really assumed the style and made it seem natural. The set was gorgeous and was well worth the hard work it must have taken to get it here. Thank you for a fantastic evening!

  24. My daughter and I had the most wonderful time! Opening night was outstanding! We loved watching Haiyan for the first time–what a talent. We were disappointed to not see our favorite, Yuka (as we bought our tickets a while back), but hopefully we’ll get to see her in Swan Lake. The costumes and set were amazing! GREAT job OBT for yet another outstanding performance. We’re blessed to have access to such a remarkable ballet theatre!! BRAVO to the dancers, Lola, Stowell, and teachers:)

  25. Incredible! Stunning! Breathtaking! Beautiful! I was spellbound from beginning to end. Sets and costumes were outstanding. Last year I was wondering whether or not to get season tickets again, as there were some big disappointments, such as Petrouschka. Also, I prefer the live orchestra every time. But Giselle was so wonderful, I am telling all my friends to go see it this weekend.

  26. I loved the ballet. We went last Sunday. The dancing was flawless and beautiful. The roles are all technically demanding as Giselle is probably as difficult a role as Odette / Odile in Swan Lake. Yuka IIno danced the lead and Yang Zou, who I had not seen before was a strong and powerful partner as Albrecht. The set was like a classical painting and gave real depth to the performance. The costumes equally superb. Thank you OBT for such a wonderful ballet.

  27. We saw Sun. – absolutely beautiful! Yuka is always a favorite, and I think this was the best thing I’ve ever seen her do. Her emotion filled the auditorium. Yang was spectacular. In his first season, we’re already huge fans! And of course Allison is wonderful in anything she does. Sets were spectacular, orchestra sounded great (live music makes all the difference!), Wilis were so beautiful, and we were obviously lucky to have Lola. Thank you all!

  28. I’ve been living overseas for many years and have seen a few ballets in various places around the world. I thought OBT would put on a decent ballet, but I didn’t think it would be like this. When I saw the performance on Saturday night, I knew I was seeing something special. OBT has set a new bar with this performance. The principal dancers really brought the characters to life in their dance and expression. I looked over at my wife and there were tears in her eyes. I held back a few myself. But what really set this performance apart was the corps. I’ve always felt that you can tell a great ballet company by how well the corp holds together. It was very obvious Saturday night that the corp were determined to excel and they did. They helped elevate this performance and make it a complete. It was a wonderful collective effort by OBT.

  29. We loved it!

    Tears streaming on the death of Giselle (Yuka).

    Jumping up for ovation in appreciation.

    Bravo to All the dancers.
    Thank you Christpher & Lola.

    Our daughter ‘Harper’ attends SOBT…it is a privilege and joy to have OBT in our lives.

    Thank you all.

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