NAC is extending performance and event cancellations and postponements until August 31


March 28, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) – NAC Dance is pleased to welcome Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal back to Ottawa with the world premiere of its Giselle, adapted by recently appointed Artistic Director Ivan Cavallari. This new production explores the full range and complexities of human emotions – love and innocence, betrayal and forgiveness – wrapped in the ethereal beauty of one of the world’s most famous ballets.

For the first time in 20 years, Les Grands Ballets will perform this jewel of the classic repertoire, with its famous tableaux of white tutus en pointe, faithfully adapted from the original. With its powerful theme of undying love that transcends madness and death, this iconic ballet pits myth against reality, and the result is both captivating and overwhelming.

Giselle is performed April 4th to the 6th at 8:00 p.m. in the Southam Hall.

ABOUT Giselle

The story of Giselle, one of the gems of the French Romantic ballet repertoire, originally choreographed by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli in 1841 and revived by Marius Petipa in 1903, is well-known and cherished. Les Grands Ballets adaptation of Giselle is being re-staged in a traditional form by Ivan Cavallari, assisted by Marina Villanuava.

First performed by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1841, Giselle has continued to inspire dancers and choreographers through the years. It tells the story of an innocent young woman who falls in love with the worldly Duke Albrecht, who hides his betrothal to another woman. The deception inflicts a deep wound, and Giselle slowly succumbs to madness, descending finally into the world of the “wilis,” where the spirits of maidens who die before their nuptials reside. From there, Giselle returns to haunt the Duke’s nights. 

Choreography: Marius Petipa
Adaptation: Ivan Cavallari, assisted by Marina Villanuava
Libretto: Théophile Gauthier and Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges, after Heinrich Heine
Music: Adolphe-Charles Adam, arr. Karl Paullsson, via Creative Commons


For over 60 years, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal has created, produced, and performed nationally and internationally, with a deep devotion to dance in all its forms while remaining faithful to the essence of classical ballet.  

Les Grands Ballets embodies an innovative holistic approach, unique in the world, which has led to such noteworthy enterprises as Les Studios and the National Centre for Dance Therapy, which together promote all the benefits that dance can bring. The company’s mission is also to ensure accessibility to art for everyone, exemplified by the founding of The Nutcracker Fund, which every year enables thousands of children to enjoy a first ballet experience.


Born in Bolzano, Italy, Ivan Cavallari trained at the Teatro alla Scala Ballet School in Milan and received a scholarship to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. He danced with La Scala Theatre Ballet before joining the Stuttgart Ballet, where he became a soloist and then a principal dancer in 1991. He creates choreographies for some of the world’s biggest dance companies. From 2007 to 2012, he was the Artistic Director of the West Australian Ballet and in 2013, was named Artistic Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra national du Rhin. He has been Les Grands Ballets’ Artistic Director since the 2017–2018 season.


The NAC wishes to thank Hotel Partner Lord Elgin Hotel and Media Partner Le Droit.


Le Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal performs Giselle in Southam Hall of the National Arts Centre from April 4–6, 2019. Tickets range from $29 to $131 for adults and $29 to $68 for students (upon presentation of a valid student ID card).

Tickets are available for purchase:

  • In person at the Box Office (1 Elgin Street), Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • By telephone from Ticketmaster, 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS)
  • Online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC’s website (

*Service charges apply.

Groups of 10 or more receive a discount of up to 20% for Music, Theatre or Dance performances. Please consult our list of eligible events or contact our Group Sales Representative at (613) 947-7000 ext.620 or at for more information.