United Ukrainian Ballet – Giselle: review

“Giselle” was the first ballet I ever watched, and though I never got to dance in it when I was still dancing, it was always my favorite ballet, and reading about this particular production just moved me to tears. I hope I get to see it in person at some point. I had the pleasure of watching Ratmansky’s “Sleeping Beauty” restoration a few years ago and it was stunning. I am a firm believer that ballets should remain as they were choreographed. They are a link to a lineage, a tradition, a past, a story, and the genius of every dancer to ever step into these roles. Also, and to my great delight, in this case of “Giselle,” the award for best middle finger given to Russia also goes to Ratmansky and this valiant group of dancers. Slava Ukraini! Slava Geroim.

The Marius Petipa Society

On the night of Tuesday 13th September 2022, a newly formed company, the United Ukrainian Ballet made its London début at the Coliseum. This company is formed of seventy Ukrainian dancers from various Ukrainian ballet companies, who fled their country following the Russian invasion on the 24th February 2022. It was put together by its artistic leader Igone de Jonagh, a former principal ballerina with the Dutch National Ballet, and is based at the old conservatory in The Hague, which has been converted into a refugee centre for Ukrainian dancers and others. The United Ukrainian Ballet made its world début last month in The Netherlands in Alexei Ratmansky’s historical production of Giselle, which he previously staged for the Bolshoi Ballet in 2019 and this week, the company presented the production for their London début.

Christine Shevchenko as Giselle and Oleksii Tiutiunnyuk as Albrecht – photo by Mark Senior©

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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on September 26, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What good timing! I was just watching a YouTube video compiling five versions of Giselle’s pas seul (with all the hops en pointe) showing how it has changed since the 1960s. I assume your spam filter won’t allow me to share a link.

    I’m so glad these incredible artists are able to continue performing despite the war in their homeland.


    • You can probably post it here, just copy paste the link.

      Ratmansky did a ballet in homage to history’s greatest Giselle: Olga Spessivtseva too, which bears mentioning. I haven’t seen it, but she’s one of the dancers I honor within my ballet lineage and was known for the variation.


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