The ballet Giselle is a romantic masterpiece that has been performed continually since it was created more than 160 years ago. The story is set in a peasant village during the festive grape harvest. A beautiful peasant girl named Giselle is in love with Loys, a newcomer to the village, which annoys the local gamekeeper Hilarion, who is in love with Giselle himself. Giselle loves to dance more than anything in the world, and though her mother warns her not to dance because of her weak heart, she joins the dancing and celebrating with her village friends. Hilarion discovers that Loys is actually count Albrecht in disguise and calls the royal hunting party to prove Albrecht’s true identity, and the fact that he is already engaged to be married to princess Bathilde. Giselle is grief-stricken. Her heart fails her as she goes mad, and she dies!
A few nights later, Hilarion visits Giselle’s grave, only to be captured by the legendary Wilis. Wilis are the spirits of women who have been abandoned by men who had promised to marry them. Every night, they rise from their graves to seek revenge by forcing any man they can find to dance until he dies of exhaustion. Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis summons Giselle’s spirit and commands her to dance as a new Wili. The Wilis hear Albrecht and hide as he dances with Giselle’s spirit. The Wilis capture Albrecht, and Myrtha commands him to dance. Knowing that a Wili never tires, Giselle begs to dance instead. She dances alone and with Albrecht, but Myrtha and the Wilis are too strong, and Albrecht must dance. Just as he can dance no more, the sun starts to rise. The Wilis disappear, and Albrecht has survived the night. The power of Giselle and Albrecht’s love for each other has saved Albrecht from a terrible fate.