‘Haunting yet moving’: The English National Ballet’s Giselle stuns the Bristol Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 07:04 19 October 2016 | UPDATED: 08:16 19 October 2016

Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernandez in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent Liotardo

Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernandez in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent Liotardo


The English National Ballet has built a reputation of pushing the boundaries of the dance, and the company did just that with an intense but stunning performance of Giselle at the Hippodrome last night (Tuesday).

Cesar Corrales in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent LiotardoCesar Corrales in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent Liotardo

While I certainly will not proclaim I am an expert on ballet – in fact quite the opposite – this is certainly not how I imagined a traditional ballet would play out.

The story is a relatively simple one. It is a dramatic tale of a love which is interrupted by the Landlords, who have control over everything and reveal the heart-breaking truth to Giselle as she discovers her lover is otherwise engaged.

Giselle’s life falls apart in front of our eyes and after her fall from grace we follow her battle between death and her presence in the ghost factory.

The talent on display is truly phenomenal and the first act is certainly not ballet as you might expect it to be presented.

Cesar Corrales and Stina Quagebeur in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent LiotardoCesar Corrales and Stina Quagebeur in Akram Khan's Giselle. Picture: Laurent Liotardo

There is a huge amount of ensemble work and Akram Khan’s choreography is pure perfection. But there is a slight modern twist to the dance.

Hilarion, played by Cesar Corrales, is a character who tries to woo Giselle. He strikes up a relationship with the landlords for his – and his community’s – profit.

But his performance even has elements of what I would call street dance in it with the movement of his body, and the high-tempo nature of some of the dances which he leads, resembling the more modern style.

The second act is something of a true spectacle and if you enjoy ballet, this will certainly leave you mesmerised.

A word to describe the company’s performance after the interval has to be haunting. The ghost world is revealed and the women from the after life all perform on point.

The strength needed to perform such high-intensity and yet dainty choreography while on point is truly mesmerising.

Their character-building is also perfect as there was an eery atmosphere, which you could feel throughout the theatre, as the women sought revenge for events which went before in their past life.

I genuinely felt an element of fear throughout the second act. Credit must, of course, also go to the live orchestra. The music was stunning and for someone who is not knowledgeable about ballet or classical music, I was impressed by how beautiful some of the score was – but also how creepy the stage felt at times.

At one hour and 55 minutes, it was the perfect length as it is certainly an intense piece of theatre but I can guarantee it is one which you will not forget in a hurry.

Giselle will be at The Bristol Hippodrome from tonight (Wednesday) until Saturday.

There will be performances at 7.30pm each evening, with matinees at 2pm on Thursday and 2.30pm on Saturday. Tickets, priced £13.90-49.40 are available online via the Hippodrome website or on 08448 713012.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Somerset Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Somerset Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Somerset Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from North Somerset Times


Parts of Portishead are cordoned off today (Wednesday) following the discovery of a human skull.

Read more

Two Bristol teenagers have today (Wednesday) been charged by Avon and Somerset Constabulary over allegedly throwing items off a bridge at motorists driving between Portishead and Avonmouth on the M5 and M49.

Read more
7 minutes ago

Avon and Somerset Constabulary will continue with a service allowing people to text in reports of rural crime after a successful three-month trial.

Read more

Clevedon came out narrow winners in the local derby at Bridgwater

Read more

Nailsea & Backwell lost an exciting match against Wiveliscombe by just one point at home in a high-scoring encounter.

Read more

A crowd of nearly 400 were treated to a fine game of rugby at Yatton.

Read more

Clevedon Town recorded a narrow victory over basement side Bitton.

Read more

A goal in injury time saw Portishead Town salvage a point at home to Wincanton Town.

Read more

Nailsea & Tickenham Reserves went top of the league after this victory over Ashton & Backwell Reserves.

Read more

A very young Nailsea United side came away with all three points against Odd Down Reserves at The Grove.

Read more

A person who was hit by a train earlier today (Tuesday) has died.

Great Western Railway has confirmed a person has been hit by a train at Nailsea and Backwell station today (Tuesday).

Fresh from the West End, the feel-good musical Funny Girl stunned The Bristol Hippodrome last night (Wednesday) with star of the show Sheridan Smith leaving the audience on their feet after her incredible performance.

The timeless tale of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was brought back to life on stage at The Bristol Hippodrome last night (Wednesday) and its audience were swept back to their childhood.

A second yellow weather warning has been issued for North Somerset, in as many days with fog and ice set to make its way across the district.

Police launch appeal for wanted man

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A 19-year-old man from Long Ashton is wanted by police, in connection with theft offences.

Two lanes were closed on the M5 southbound this morning (Tuesday) following a crash involving a lorry, car and a van.

North Somerset is set to experience widespread fog this evening (Monday), with driving conditions expected to become ‘difficult’.

Serious crash rate drops to an all-time low

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A historically low number of injuries and deaths on North Somerset’s roads should not lead to complacency, according to a senior North Somerset councillor.

Young people with mental health issues face a ‘postcode lottery’ it has been warned with North Somerset CCG accused of only spending an estimated £5.89 per head.

The Met Office has issued a weather warning for North Somerset following thick fog which has descended across the district today (Thursday).

Weston General Hospital has closed a number of its wards, after an outbreak of the ‘winter vomiting bug’ – norovirus.

Name three things which come into your head when you think of Munich – that was one of the first things I was asked to do after touching down in this fantastic cultural city last weekend.

Rise in arson attacks in North Somerset

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Avon Fire and Rescue has received a higher number of calls to arson attacks in the past year – with deliberate vehicle fires showing a sharp increase in North Somerset.

North Somerset’s children are at ‘serious’ risk of diabetes and heart disease, it has been revealed, with close to 30 per cent of children entering secondary school overweight or obese.

The English National Ballet has built a reputation of pushing the boundaries of the dance, and the company did just that with an intense but stunning performance of Giselle at the Hippodrome last night (Tuesday).

A 30-year-old man has been charged today (Thursday) in connection with a burglary at Portishead Cricket Club, in Lake Road.

There has been an accident on the M5 this afternoon (Wednesday) which is causing slow traffic.

A man who was involved in a collision with a lorry on the A370 yesterday (Monday) is in hospital with serious head injuries, it has been confirmed by police.

There has been a serious accident on the A370 this evening (Monday), which is causing huge traffic queues towards Congresbury.

There are reports of very slow traffic on the M5 this afternoon (Friday) due to a dog loose on the carriageway.

Opinion: Ghost The Musical wows audience on opening night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The stage adaptation of one of the most iconic 90s films Ghost opened at the Bristol Hippodrome last night (Monday) and took the audience on an emotional roller coaster.

North Somerset’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which buys and plans the district’s health services, must make close to £15million of savings this year as it faces financial difficulties.

There is a ‘concerning’ amount of unpaid council tax in North Somerset, with the level reportedly edging towards £12million, according to the latest statistics.

As many people make their way across the country following the beginning of the school holidays, the M5 is feeling the brunt of it with congestion on the motorway this evening (Friday).

After a few days of scorching weather, the Met Office has now issued a warning across North Somerset, with thunderstorms and rain forecast for today (Friday).

North Somerset’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for providing healthcare in the area, has been placed into special measures by NHS England today (Thursday).

Dozens of sexual offences against children as young as five involving the internet occurred across Avon and Somerset last year.

There will be disruption to flights throughout today at Bristol Airport due to industrial action.

The number of arrests for drug-driving has fallen by almost 20 per cent over the past 12 months.

Most Read

Read Online

Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder

Search for a car near you

Find planning applications

Follow us on Twitter