i am [not] giselle


Premiere03.11.2023, Theater im Pavillon Hannover
artistic direction / choreographyMónica García Vicente
DancersCamilla Matteucci, Laura García Aguilera, Second Cast: Bettina Paletta
cdc-DancersEmma Hesse, Laura Schepers
compositionMaewen Forest
dramaturgy Christina Rohwetter
Light Design / ScenographyKristina Schmidt
CostumeLuzie Nehls-Neuhaus
Artistic production managementRat & Tat Kulturbüro
PressHanna Ehlers
Social Media / VideoLaura Nicole Viganó
GraphicMaïté Müller
photography Peter Hoffmann-Schoenborn
Assistant DirectorCarolin Chantal Schaefer
sponsored byLANDESHAUPTSTADT HANNOVER KULTURBÜRO, STIFTUNG NIEDERSACHSEN, Sparkasse Hildesheim Goslar Peine, Stiftung Edelhof Ricklingen – V. J. V. der Osten, Ballettgesellschaft Hannover e.V.

„Giselle is considered a masterpiece of classical ballet. Created in the era of early Romanticism, it is still part of the repertoire today. As in other ballets of the time, the titular female character, with whom the male protagonist, not befitting his station, falls in love, appears as a sexless, virtuous, innocent and dependent being. Admittedly, this image corresponds more to contemporary male fantasies and patriarchal ideals of femininity than to the realities of life for women and dancers in the 19th century.

„I am [not] Giselle“ is a choreographic experiment in search of the real woman in romantic and contemporary ballet. The two dancers embody the complex and contradictory aspects of womanhood and femininity: on, behind and beyond the stage. They explore their own longings and passions and those projected onto them, states of dependence and autonomy, their own bodies as voyeuristic objects of display and subjects of female desire. Choreography, musical composition, costume and scenography create an aesthetic and expressive formal language of self-exploration, not least to give Giselle a stage as a real, complex woman.


i scratch at the surface of ballet blanc, removing layer after layer to give real women a stage in their diversity.

i scratch at the surface
of ballet blanc,
removing layer after layer
to give real women
a stage
in their diversity.


Mónica García Vicente

Press comment: DEWEZET – 25.05.2024 (original article in german)

The dance itself with “I am [not] Giselle”

“HAMELN. Premiere, world premiere and the model project ‘SPOTTED’ got off to an unconventional and furious start with ‘I am [not] Giselle’ on Thursday evening at the Theater auf der Bühne (TAB).

‘Die Wilis’ – this fantastic ballet from bygone dance days has been radically transformed and its exuberant romanticism measured against familiar realities. Not Giselle. Two women – very close to the audience. Background noise – railway station sound. Metaphor for proximity and distance. And ‘Giselle’, this touching love story of classical ballet reduced to dance. Movement and dance itself as a form of expression.

Sensibilities and the desire to try things out, effects, poses. Experience yourself and your own body. Two women immersed in a game with themselves. Encounters. Show objects – role play and private moments. Outside view and inside view. What makes Mónica García Vicente’s choreography so exciting is the passion for dance and the imagination with which new forms of expression are sought here. The balancing act between the role and being a woman and the role of women always reflected anew, even against old role models. And they take their time – give themselves time. Developing, movements, calmly flowing, which again and again lead seamlessly into a kind of desperate dance of St Vitus.

Play with few props. Two mats – standing ‘up to the neck’ as a wall of water – wash over the two women, wash them away. To become one in exchange. Swap each other. The play with the powerful veil quote from the realm of the Wilis with Myrtha and her flowing robe and rain as an idiosyncratic sound is magnificent. And the veil as an oversized towel. This drying off as such a different form of socialisation is as touching as it is helpless. Equally strange and familiar. Almost like a happy ending – very close, the two solitary figures merging into one.

Bettina Paletta had to stand in for Laura García Aguilera at short notice, more expressive in her movements than Camilla Matteucci, who surprises again and again with spontaneous solos, seemingly more easily even when she is basking in the applause. A bit associated with Cain and Abel. One is a shining light who always stages herself as a showpiece – the other struggles with herself.
Impressive performances from both – carried by a choreography that is imaginatively playful and doesn’t really want anything. Except for one thing: the dance itself.” by Richard Peter


We showed a piece from ,,I am [not] Giselle“ at the TanzSichten open-stage format in the Kunsthalle Faust/Hannover Laura was unable to perform on the day due to an injury, so Camilla danced her part “with” the video of the performance projected on the wall.