“A beautiful and intelligent remaking of the beloved classic.”

- The New York Times

English National Ballet’s stunning new production of the classic ballet Giselle, choreographed by dance superstar Akram Khan, is coming to New Zealand exclusively for the Auckland Arts Festival.

With Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

One of the most famous ballet companies in the world, English National Ballet has undergone a spectacular artistic resurgence under powerhouse Artistic Director and Lead Principle Dancer Tamara Rojo. The New York Times called the Spanish arts visionary “the woman who transformed English National Ballet.” She has rejuvenated the ballet canon with her bold new commissions of the classics, most significantly, Giselle.

In a stunning coup, English National Ballet lured acclaimed choreographer, dancer and director, Akram Khan, to make a daring new Giselle on their fêted company of dancers.

Khan's new vision for this classic tale of love, betrayal and redemption places the story in a timeless setting where an outcast migrant factory worker discovers her lover is betrothed to another woman and dies from grief. Once passed, Giselle joins a group of ghosts who seek revenge for the wrongs done to them to take revenge on him, but their love overpowers her and he is released, forgiven.

English National Ballet brings to Auckland a huge team of nearly 100 artists and crew. Travelling with them is a monumental set designed by Oscar-winner Tim Yip [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon]. This is a massive new production on a scale rarely seen in New Zealand and only possible within the context of Auckland Arts Festival.

The haunting, “ominous, gothic” score (The Observer), is brought to life by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

When Giselle premiered at the Paris Opera in 1841, it was hailed as ‘the greatest ballet of its time’. English National Ballet and Akram Khan have made a new Giselle for the 21st century described by the New York Times as “a gift for the company”.

"…a masterpiece of 21st century dance" Mail On Sunday, UK



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Creative Team
Direction & Choreography: Akram Khan
Set and Costume Designer: Tim Yip
Dramaturgy: Ruth Little
Composer: Vincenzo Lamagna, drawing on Adolphe Adams’ original score
Orchestra: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Conductor: Gavin Sutherland

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