Giselle is the most famous ballet originating from the Romantic era, which was created by the French poet and writer Theophile Gautier. He wrote the plot based in a German legend he had found in a book of poet Heinrich Heine. Gautier was very fond of the Italian ballerina and pupil of the choreographer Jules Perrot, Carlotta Gris i, thus, he made her the star of his ballet.
The ballet was first performed in Russia in 1842 and, with the help of Marius Pet ipa, was re staged in Saint-Petersbourg a few years later.
Sadly, it was dropped from Western Europe's stages after a few years until it was revived in 1910 y Diaghilev's Ballet Russes who came to France to perform. The role of Giselle is a coveted role and has been danced by many famous ballerinas, such as Olga Spessivtseva, Alicia Markova, Anna Pavlova, Margot Fonteyn, and Yvette Chauvire. The plot revolves around the life and death of Giselle, a peasant girl who is in love with her neighbor Loys but she doesn't know that he's in fact the Count Albrecht. Hilarion, a forester, is in love with her, but she is blinded by her love for Loys and disregards him.
During the celebration of the grape harvest in the village a jealous Hilarion manages to learn about Loys real identity as a Count. Soon after, a hunting party led by the Duke of Courland and his daughter Bat hilde arrives and is welcomed by the peasant villagers. Just when Giselle is crowned the Queen of the Village, Hilarion reveals her the truth about Loys (Albrecht) and Giselle is so shocked that she tries to kill herself with Hilarion's sword but dies from the shock. In the night, Hilarion is near Giselle's grave where he is tormented by the Wilis, who are ghosts of young girls who died before their wedding day and who avenge themselves by making the men they meet dance to death.
They are led by their queen, Queen Myrtha and Hilarion sees that Giselle has become a Wilis, too. During the mayhem, Albrecht arriving carrying white lilies to Giselle's grave. While the Wilis torment Hilarion and eventually kill him, Giselle appears to Albrecht and begs Queen Myrtha to save him. Before she can, though, Albrecht starts dancing and becomes more and more exhausted until finally dawn breaks and the Wilis leave him alone which concludes the ballet.