Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Andrew Bistak

Giselle Review (The Australian Ballet Regional Tour 2016)

Giselle Review (The Australian Ballet Regional Tour 2016) Andrew Bistak

Summary: The Australian Ballet does an amazing rendition of the 1841 classic, Giselle


a ghostly ballet

Currently touring Victoria (1 – 23 July), The Australian Ballet is showcasing their amazing talents as they perform a flawless rendition of the 1841 classic Giselle that successfully tells the tale of a doomed romance that is set in the world of the living and the dead. Beautifully choreographed by the dancers of The Australian Ballet, these men and women move with this almost otherworldly grace that will leave you astounded by their talents, particularly their strength and stamina that is required to do their pointe work.

TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Karen Nanasca Andrew Killian. Photo Jeff Busby 1074

To complement their ballet, Giselle uses some impressive music, backdrops and lighting to create an almost interactive experience for the audience. If you have never seen a ballet before, Giselle should definitely be your first because of its engaging story about these two lovers who eventually cross worlds.

Broken into two acts, the story revolves around the beautiful Giselle (Karen Nanasca), a carefree girl who loves to dance and is drawn to a mysterious villager. Unbeknown to Giselle, this villager is actually Duke Albrecht (Andrew Killian) who disguises himself to win the affection of this girl. Ignoring the wisdom of her mother (Anastasia McDonald-Spicer) and the disdain of Hilarion (Edward Smith), another village suiter, Giselle continues to chase the affections of this stranger.

TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Karen Nanasca. Photo Jeff Busby 1069

However when the Duke of Courland (Sean Kiley) arrives with his daughter Bathilde (Dana Stephensen) who is set to marry to Albrecht, Hilarion unveils the truth which causes Giselle’s spiral into madness and eventually dies of a broken heart which is quite a powerful scene. As Albrecht mourns over the grave of Giselle, he then witnesses the spirits of other jilted lovers and comes across the Queen of the afterlife Myrtha (Nicola Curry) who judges him harshly, only to be forgiven by his true love.

The first part of the Giselle is quite a vibrant and joyful story, particularly with the two leads that include Karen Nanasca and Andrew Killian who really draw you into their story and of course Edward Smith who plays the jealous Hilarion. Given that, all the dancers are quite spectacular in this ballet and really help tell the story of Giselle. Then you have the Queen of the underworld, Mrytha who is played perfectly by Nicola Curry and has this powerful and majestic presence to her which adds a great element to the second part of the story.

TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Karen Nanasca Andrew Killian. Photo Jeff Busby_1773

Furthermore, the lighting, costumes and music not only tugs at your emotional heart strings but it’s like you’re experiencing visions of ghosts dancing on the stage and is almost a little scary. All in all, it’s a great production of Giselle that draws you from start to finish and leaves you craving more.

Final Thoughts?

The Australian Ballet should once again be commended on another spectacular production of Giselle which is filled with wonder, romance and amazing ballet routines as we follow the tale of Giselle and Duke Albrecht. It was quite a faultless production and all the dancers were a joy to watch whose emotions flowed over the audience. However the standout star was definitely Karen Nanasca as Giselle as she went from happy and carefree to madness, death and finally forgiveness to the man she loved. Given that, Giselle should definitely be on your list to see!

TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Photo Jeff Busby 1550



  • Geelong, Geelong Performing Arts Centre Friday 1 July 7:30pm Saturday 2 July 1.30pm
  • Bendigo, Ulumbarra Theatre Friday 8 July 7:30pm Saturday 9 July 1.30pm & 7:30pm
  • South Morang, Plenty Ranges PA&C Centre Tuesday 12 July 7:30pm Wednesday 13 July 7:30pm
  • Frankston, Frankston Arts Centre Friday 15 July 7:30pm Saturday 16 July 1:30pm & 7.30pm
  • Warrnambool, Lighthouse Theatre Tuesday 19 July 7:30pm Wednesday 20 July 7:30pm
  • Mildura, Mildura Arts Centre Saturday 23 July 1:30pm & 7:30pm


  • Chatswood, Concourse Theatre Tuesday 4 October 7:30pm Wednesday 5 October 1:30pm
  • Orange, Civic Theatre Friday 7 October 7.30pm Saturday 8 October 1:30pm & 7.30pm
  • Griffith, Griffith Regional Theatre Tuesday 11 October 7:30pm Wednesday 12 October 7:30pm
  • Wagga Wagga, Civic Theatre Friday 14 October 7:30pm Saturday 15 October 7:30pm
  • Newcastle, Civic Theatre Wednesday 19 October 7:30pm Thursday 20 October 7:30pm

For more information, please visit

TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Karen Nanasca Andrew Killian. Photo Jeff Busby 1883TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Nicola Curry and The Australian Ballet Photo Jeff Busby _1543 TAB_RegionalTour_Giselle_Photo Jeff Busby 1088

Photos – Jeff Busby

About the Author

When he's not trying to save the world, Andrew enjoys travel (although loathes turbulence), going to the movies, reading and being a dad to his two dogs (and now twins) with his wife.

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