Critical acclaim from the press

  • “A triumph on all platforms, most notably in Navas’ spectacular choreography.” The Capilano Courier, 2013
  • “José Navas has managed to put his own spin on a ballet warhorse, while keeping the quintessence of the original story and crafting an attractive production.” The Globe and Mail, 2013
  • “This performance is both accessible to the uninitiated and bursting with artistic depth, passion and integrity. Piercing.” Hello Vancity, 2013
  • “The future of ballet is safe with José Navas.” Vancouver Vantage, 2013

A few words about the show

Working with music composed by Adolphe Adam for the creation of the ballet Giselle in 1841, José Navas’ movement has become increasingly classical since his debut working with ballet dancers. Yet, the choreographer brings an unflinchingly contemporary approach to this monument of dance history, proposing a radically new interpretation.

Stripping the classic version down to its story’s bare bones, he reconfigures the love triangle: Giselle still falls in love with Albrecht, but he is unavailable to her not because he is engaged to another woman but because he loves the other man, Hilarion. A love that will lead Giselle to commit suicide. By doing so, José Navas shed a new light on the piece and presents it with more contemporary issues.

José Navas has invited Montreal graphic artist Lino to create an animated set that depicts the surreal, psychic world of Albrecht’s mind.


  • Choreography: José Navas
  • Dancers: the artists of Ballet BC
    Giselle: Alexis Fletcher, Maggie Forgeron
    Albrecht: Connor Gnam, Alexander Burton
    Hilarion: Gilbert Small
    Myrtha: Makaila Wallace
    Chorus: Emily Chessa, Stephanie Cyr, João Pedro de Paula, Darren Devaney, Thibaut Eiferman, Livona Ellis, Scott Fowler, Alyson Fretz, Ryan Genoe, Kiera Hill, Alexandra Inculet, Daniel Marshalsay, Rachel Meyer, Racheal Prince, Paxton Ricketts, Christoph von Riedemann, Alanna Sager, Peter Smida, Makaila Wallace
  • Assistant to the choreographer: Ami Shulman
  • Movement vocabulary was made in collaboration with the dancers.
  • José Navas would like to thank the dancers of Springboard Dance Montreal for their contribution to the research for Giselle.
  • Music: Adolphe Adam
  • Set design and animation: Lino
  • Animations: Jean-Sébastien Baillat and Guillaume Cardell
  • Lighting: Marc Parent
  • Costumes: Linda Chow
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • World premiere: April 25, 2013, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Giselle is a production of Ballet BC.