When the two-act ballet Giselle was first performed at Academie Royale de Musique in Paris in 1841, it was praised by ballet historians as the crowning moment of romantic ballet. It is the story of a peasant girl called Giselle, who dies after learning that her lover is engaged to another woman.
It portrays the most realistic human emotions — of first love, heartbreak, deceit and love beyond the grave. When a group of supernatural women target her lover for death, Giselle’s undying love frees him from their curse. Featuring internationally acclaimed ballerina Svetlana Zakharova in the title role, this film is part of “Summer Sonata: Films on Ballet and Opera” at India International Centre.
RP Jain, a retired German professor has curated the films, returning after a hiatus of three years, since the festival began in 2006. The only difference is that earlier it comprised nine films as opposed to four films this time. He says, “With summers in full swing and with not much really happening in June, I think it is a good way of showing something different to the audience.” The 12-day film festival began on Monday.
In the opera section, the Italian L’Elisir d’Amore with English subtitles will take the audience on a two-hour laughter riot with Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera.
A poor farmer Nemorino, falls in love with the wealthy Adina, but is left distressed when Sergeant Belcore turns up, and Adina appears falling for him. He tries every trick to win her love, even giving up his savings to buy magic potions to win his lady love, only to be surprised with the results later. The other film in this category includes Albert Herring, which is British composer Benjamin Britten’s witty depiction of English village life.
The films will be screened till June 13. Visit http://www.iicdelhi.nic.in for details
This story appeared in print under the headline It’s Ballet Time