Love conquers all in ‘Giselle’

Beauty and pain: Giselle lands at Reynolds Hall.
Jeffrey W. Speer

Love is never easy. If we’ve learned anything from centuries of literature (other than religious strife, plague and war), it’s that. So when a 19th-century duke falls for a peasant girl, swaps his wealth-laden garments for simple clothes and steals the pretty villager’s heart despite being betrothed to another, disaster is inevitable.

But in Giselle, love never dies. Thick with despair, madness and murder, the ballet presents it as painful, beautiful and enduring, a storyline complete with ethereal supernatural maidens haunting the forest.

While it premiered in Paris in 1841, remaining a crowd pleaser for more than a century, it’s also what made Las Vegas audiences take note of choreographer James Canfield, who directed Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Giselle in 2008 before becoming the company’s artistic director.

This weekend, Canfield returns the two-act story ballet to the stage in the company’s final performance of the season.

Giselle May 9, 7:30 p.m.; May 10, 2 p.m.; $29-$128. Smith Center's Reynolds Hall, 702-749-2000.

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