“Giselle” is tricky to pull off.
You need a large and impeccably trained corps de ballet for the two-act ballet. That may require hiring 16 to 20 dancers, all well-versed in the romantic style.
Toward that end, two local dance companies — Pompano Beach’s Florida Classical Ballet and Hollywood’s South Florida Ballet Theater — have teamed up for a one-night-only production to appear this Sunday, April 6 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
“ ‘Giselle’ is one of the most beautiful, amazing and difficult ballets in the ‘ballet blanc’ style,” explains Lynda DeChane, artistic director of South Florida Ballet Theater. “Ballet blanc is in the romantic style from the 1800s, and you need, as the name suggests, a large corps de ballet all done in white. I always wanted to do it. You’re not going to get the opportunity to see it often.”
So DeChane brought to the partnership her school of young dancers for the first act, as well as the venue, costumes and marketing know-how. Magaly Suarez, artistic director of Florida Classical Ballet, brought the impeccably trained ballet de corps for the second act and the two principal dancers. More about them later.
DeChane says she knew she and Suarez could be “two brains working as one” when she saw that company’s the Florida Classical Ballet’s production of “La Bayadere” at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse in 2013.
“It was amazing. I got the opportunity to see Magaly and her students perform,” DeChane says. “They have to be perfect, every leg, every foot. It’s very difficult to do.”
Suarez remembers that DeChane called her, and the two had a meeting. “And she tells me what she wants to do. She said we have these two beautiful principal dancers here,” Suarez says, “and we can’t let them go without doing a ballet like ‘Giselle.’ “
DeChane was referring to Adiarys Almeida and Joseph Gatti, whom she had originally gone to see perform in the lead roles of “La Bayadere.” The duo will also dance the leads in “Giselle,” which is about a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart when she realizes that her love, Albrecht, is betrothed to another. Wilis, spirits of women jilted at the altar who make men dance to death, target Albrecht. But Giselle’s love saves him.
“It is the ballet audiences always want to see,” Suarez says. “There is not a way to know ballet without going through ‘Giselle.’ “
IN OTHER DANCE NEWS:
The Boca Ballet Theatre will host "An Evening of Art, Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres" from 6 to 8 p.m. April 4 at Addison Gallery, 206 NE Second St., in Delray Beach. Admission is $50. Call 561-995-0709 or go to BocaBallet.org.
Palm Beach Atlantic University will present its "Dance Ensemble Spring Dance Concert" at 7:30 April 4 and 5 at Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Tickets cost $15. Call 800-572-8471 or go to Kravis.org.
National Water Dance will take place across the country beginning at 4 p.m. April 12. The event plans to draw attention to environmental issues through dance and social activism. Dancers from Broward College and Nova Southeastern University will perform at the South New River Canal (C-11) in Davie (across from Davie Town Hall). Another production will be staged at the Deering Estate at Cutler (16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami) as part of the Festival of the Arts. Admission is free. For more information, go to NationalWaterDance.org.
IF YOU GO”
Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Cost: $30 and $40 (VIP tickets cost $50)
Contact: 954-929-4601 or BrowardCenter.org.