Stovel, Nora Foster. “The Creation of the Romantic Ballet Giselle: The Ballerina’s Hamlet.” In Collected Work: The Creation of Giselle: Classical Ballet Meets Contemporary Video Games, 3-34. Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta, 2019.
Outlines the history and distinguishing characteristics of Romantic ballet in general and Giselle in particular as the quintessential Romantic ballet. The author explains the inspiration, inception, and development of the libretto by Gautier and Saint-Georges, Adam's score, and choreography that combine to realize the dramatic conflicts dictated by the libretto, including the class and gender issues that doom Giselle. She also provides an overview of the reception and influence of Giselle. Giselle was responsible for the birth of the White Goddess, the ballerina, and the Golden Age of Romantic ballet, 1830–45, because the development of pointe work and supported adagio, augmented by the costume of white tutu and wings, plus gas lighting and stage machinery, etherealized woman and inspired the ballet blanc, or White Act, wherein the heroine reappears after death as a spirit. In act 2 of Giselle, the White Act, Giselle is initiated into the Wilis, ghosts of brides who have been jilted before their wedding and come alive at midnight to avenge their doom on men by dancing them to death.