The ultimate romantic ballet, Giselle marked the apogee of a new aesthetic that saw diaphanous tutus, white gauze, tulle and tarlatan take over the stage. The Willis bring the illusion of immateriality to this ghostly transfiguration of a tragedy. First performed at the Académie royale de Musique on June 28, 1841, the ballet travelled to Russia, then temporarily disappeared from the repertoire before finally returning to France in 1910. Today’s version by Patrice Bart and Eugene Polyakov – which closely follows Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot’s original choreography – continues to reaffirm the ballet’s early success. Bright, earthly scenes and spectral, nocturnal visions: dance becomes the language of the soul and the ballerina’s ethereal presence seems to defy gravity.