Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
The defining details of the character of Giselle are that she loves to dance even though she knows it could kill her (for she has a frail heart), and that she is in love with a peasant boy named Loys, though she knows her mother dislikes him. She is defiant, determined to follow her desires.
Giselle wasn’t one of the ballets that stuck out to me when I was younger. I loved the Tchaikovsky ballets — Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker — and later Romeo and Juliet (Macmillan’s version) became my favorite. Giselle existed at my periphery. It’s a short ballet, only two acts, and I saw it as too simple. A girl falls in love, gets heartbroken, dies. I didn’t think there was much room for Giselle to be interesting, and the love story ends in her death. It didn’t prompt the same emotional response I had from other ballets I had seen. Until I learned the ballet myself during my final year at ballet school.
Silverman, Claire Madeline, "Reflections: A Meditation on Ballet and Pain" (2023). Honors Theses. 1715.