The Journal Gazette
Friday, October 22, 2021 1:00 am

Weekender Spotlight: Fort Wayne Ballet dancers talk about lead role in 'Giselle'

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Unrequited love between social classes and revenge from beyond the grave. What more could you want from a ballet at the spookiest time of the year?

Fort Wayne Ballet performs “Giselle” today and Saturday at Arts United Center.

Company dancers Saki Morimoto and Amanda Eve Carrick will trade off in the title role this weekend. They answered the following questions by email. Responses have been edited.

Q. “Giselle” is described as having an eerie quality to it. The story includes supernatural elements, but how does the dance contribute to the eerie feel?

Morimoto: It definitely contributes to an eerie quality, especially when Giselle starts to lose her sanity after finding out that Albrecht was engaged to another person.  In this “mad scene,” Giselle starts to see Wilis (ghosts of women) in the air. This also foreshadows what's coming in the next act, which takes place in a spooky forest where Wilis force men to dance to death.

Q. Are there any particular challenges “Giselle” presents to you as a dancer?

Morimoto: Acting part is a big challenge in this ballet.  I have to convince the audience that I'm innocently in love with Albrecht in the beginning of the first act, and then later die from a broken heart after discovering the truth. I'm looking forward to portray Giselle's unique emotional arc that she goes through in this ballet.

Q. “Giselle” is pretty well known, at least by name, even outside the ballet world. Why do you think it has endured?

Carrick: Many companies continue to perform because it is a story that is so human and raw. We all understand what it feels like to fall in love and to feel betrayed by someone.

The second act has powerful corps de ballet work that is mesmerizing and really shows off the technical strength of the whole company.

The story ending with the power of forgiveness and love continuing on again connects us to the humanity of it.

Q. Is Giselle your favorite role in “Giselle”? Why or why not?

Carrick: Giselle is a role I have been hoping to play for a long time. As the main character of this ballet, it is a role that is exciting yet challenging to play. Learning and developing this character has been a career highlight for me.

Q. If you were to dress up as your favorite ballet role for Halloween, what would it be and what would the costume absolutely have to include?

Carrick: I don't think I have a favorite ballet that would translate as a good Halloween costume, but one costume I have done in the past is Firebird!

I made a flaming bird mask, but I was lacking a red tutu so I would say that is a must-have to make the transformation complete.

Q. “Nutcracker” is just around the corner with an opening set for Dec. 3. What from those annual performances do you most look forward to?

Morimoto: I love dancing with live music, so I'm looking forward to having Fort Wayne Philharmonic with us.

Also, oftentimes we have young children in the audience, and it could be their first time seeing a ballet. It makes me excited to think that we have a chance to inspire the next generation to fall in love with dance.

If you go

What: “Giselle”

When: 7 p.m. today and Saturday

Where: Arts United Center, 303 E. Main St.

Admission: $35; ArtsTix Community Box Office in Arts United Center, 422-4226 or

Share this article

Email story

Subscribe to our newsletters

* indicates required