NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Candy, flowers and sparkly baubles?
This Valentine’s Day, the American Repertory Ballet wants you and your sweetheart to fall in love with their performances of “Giselle.”
The classic tale of romance broken, rekindled and broken again that has been engaging audiences since 1841 comes to the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center Feb. 14-16.
For Aldeir Monteiro, it’s a ballet he first fell in love with as a kid, when he was also discovering other quintessential works like “Don Quixote” and “Swan Lake.” He was so excited to learn that he was going to play the lead part of Albrecht, he practically did a double cabriole derrière (that's like clicking your heels in the air for those of us who can not dance ballet).
“It is a timeless story because it has everything in a tale that people can actually relate [with],” said Monteiro.
“There’s so many beautiful moments [with] pure human feelings in every aspect. I just love that we go through all those feelings in two hours.”
“Giselle” is a tale of a peasant girl and a nobleman who fall in love despite the difference in social status. They’re star-crossed lovers in the tradition of “Romeo and Juliet.”
So, Albrecht goes undercover as a peasant in hopes of being with Giselle. But, when his cover is blown, Giselle is sent down a path of madness and heartbreak leading up to – spoiler alert - her death.
And that’s all just in Act 1.
In Act 2, Giselle becomes a Willi, a ghost of a woman that dies of a broken heart before getting married, after her life-ending heartbreak.
The other Willis rise and force men to dance until death. Will Giselle be able to rescue Albrecht, despite the heartbreak that he caused her? Will Albrecht mourn alone?
As if landing the role of a lifetime wasn’t enough, Monteiro shares the stage with longtime friend and collaborator, Ryoko Tanaka.
Tanaka (Giselle) and Monteiro have partnered for almost four years and have been working together on “Giselle” since November. The years have produced a chemistry that is evident in many ways on stage.
“The very first thing I would say is eye contact, especially for romantic ballets,” he said. “There’s a lot of eye contact. You need to really look each other in the eyes - the whole connection of being very close and feel each other. “
For tickets to see “Giselle” next week, visit nbpac.org or call the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center at 732-745-8000.
For additional information about the American Repertory Ballet, visit www.arballet.org.