Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, 2013

Tour Dates: 29 October - 10 November, 2013

Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève is composed of 22 classically-trained dancers from around the world, performing in the neo-classical and contemporary styles.

Tour Dates
  • 29 October - 10 November, 2013

1 November, Shanghai City Theatre, 021-54157496
2 November, Shanghai City Theatre, 021-54157496
5 November, Peking University Hall, 010-62758452
8 November, National Centre for the Performing Arts, 010-66550000
9 November, National Centre for the Performing Arts, 010-66550000

The history of ballet in Geneva dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and is intimately linked with the "Théâtre de Neuve", initially located in the Bastions, and subsequently in the present-day Grand Théâtre. From the beginning of the 20th century, the evolution of dance in Geneva was strongly influenced by the presence in Geneva of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze and subsequently Ernest Ansermet, who were responsible for the introduction of Diaghilev’s Ballets russes and Nijinski to local audiences. During this period and immediately after the Second World War (1939-1945), the Grand Théâtre’s own corps de ballet was deployed primarily in ballet scenes within operas and operettas, or in pas de deux. After the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1951 and during its subsequent reconstruction, the Grand Casino played host on several occasions to the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as to Maurice Béjart’s 20th Century Ballet.

In 1962, to honour its re-opening, the Grand Théâtre acquired an enlarged company under the direction of Janine Charrat (1962-64). Following Charrat as Artistic Director was Serge Golovine(1964 -69), one of the most remarkable classical dancers of his generation. He held the post for five years from 1964 to 1969. Alongside his work as choreographer and principal dancer, Serge Golovine was also a prolific teacher.

At the beginning of the 1988-89 season, Gradimir Pankov, former Director of the National Ballet of Finland and of the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm, took his turn at the helm. As a result, the Company, no longer attached to any particular style, opened a new chapter in its history. It became more polyvalent, adapting itself to the wide-ranging styles of its visiting choreographers.

In 2009, Tobias Richter is nominated the Grand Théâtre de Genève’s general director and nourishes the continuity and fully supports all projects of the company. With the development of international tours, USA, Australia, South America, Asia, the Ballet now shares its passion for dance with a wider audience who are captivated by the mere artistry.

Chorographer: Pontus Lidberg

After training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm, Lidberg performed with the Royal Swedish Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, and the Göteborg Ballet, receiving the NOKIA Award for young talent (2001) and the Stockholm Cultural Scholarship (2001).

Early interest in Lidberg's film projects came in 2003 when Swedish National Television commissioned and screened his dance film-short Mirror. It appeared at the Dance on Camera Festival (New York), Dance Camera West (Los Angeles), and other international dance film festivals. He subsequently created The Rain (2007). Filmed entirely in pouring rain both indoors and outdoors, The Rain received numerous awards around the world, including Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Film at the Dance Media Honors (Los Angeles); Best Film at the London International Dance Film Festival; Best Dance Short at the Tiburon International Film Festival; a nomination for the Rose D'Or in Lucerne; and the Jury's Special Mention at the Gothenburg International Film Festival. His more recent, also acclaimed film, Labyrinth Within (2010-2011), featuring an original score by composer David Lang and New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan, won the Dance on Camera Festival Jury Prize for Best Picture (2012) and Le Métrange spécial du Jury prize at the short film festival Court Métrange in Rennes, France (2011).


Once upon a time, a time so close to ours, it could even be now… A family left their home to settle in a land where the sun rarely shone and the people were cold. The parents and their daughters lived in a ground floor flat. Giselle, the eldest, kept house for the rich people that lived upstairs.

The rich family had a son, Albrecht. Albrecht and Giselle fell in love. In the beginning, Giselle was wary, because of all that stood between them: money, society, and their families. But she felt something in Albrecht's eyes that said: "Love me…"

Albrecht had been engaged for years, but he had forgotten that promise and now only had eyes for Giselle. And yet, he couldn't bring himself to admit what had happened in his heart to his fiancée or Giselle.

One day, Giselle gave in. Albrecht didn't think twice. Giselle didn't ask any questions. Albrecht didn't tell her to be careful.

Love is a beautiful thing, if it's sincere. But love in disguise, like this one, is its own ruin. Did Albrecht really think Giselle would never notice anything?

Giselle understood what was happening. Her heart, which had flown like a bird, became like lead and shattered, as it fell to the ground. How can you live with abroken heart? Giselle killed herself.

Afterwards, Albrecht dreamt of Giselle, in her grave in the middle of the woods. Everyone was there: his fiancée, his friends and parents, Giselle's family, as if she hadn't died. But they were knocking him down, shoving him around and Albrecht was helpless.

All night long, Albrecht's regrets danced around him. But Giselle's tender hand was there to chase away the grief. At daybreak, Albrecht understood that only an honest heart can stand up to the ghosts of remorse. A heart like the one Giselle wanted to be loved with.


Reframing the essence of romanticism, social drama or gothic fairytale? Giselle plunges its audience in a film-like atmosphere with windows on the unconscious.

—— Le Courrier (Switzerland)

And this is how Pontus Lidberg's dream came true: a different way of retelling Giselle, another way to dance without disrespecting the original work in the least. Seduction, melancholy, white gauze and funeral lilies are everywhere in his evocation of Giselle and Albrecht's love story.

—— La Tribune de Genève (Switzerland)