Not usually billed as a Halloween ballet, Giselle, especially the second act, simply teems with ghosts flying about the stage in all their magical spookiness. Granted they are called "wilis," inspired by vengeful female spirits in a poem by Heinrich Heine, but their arrival as American Ballet Theatre opens seven performances of Giselle is perfectly timed to extend the Halloween season with high romantic readings while low on the fright meter. ABT boasts five different sets of stars in the leads: Giselle, the fragile village beauty betrayed by the masquerading nobleman, Albrecht, and Myrtha, the queen of the Wilis and the meanest of the bunch. Top picks are Julie Kent teamed with Jose Manuel Carreno (Tues. & Thurs.) or Paloma Herrera with Marcello Gomes (Wed. & Sat. eve.). Of the Myrthas, the stand out to see is Gillian Murphy (Sat. mat) who should chew up the technical demands of Myrtha while terrorizing Maria Ricetto and David Hallberg. Preview talks one hour before each performance are free to ticketholders.
Nov. 3-7, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 7-8, 2 p.m., 2009