Metropolitan Ballet Presents

Giselle Starring Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt

Past event
Mar 23, 2024
Mar 24, 2024
Metropolitan Ballet in Giselle

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see world-renowned ballet dancers Daniil Simkin and Sklyar Brandt perform live in what is considered the most romantic ballet of all time. 

Celebrate 25 years with Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s own Metropolitan Ballet and experience the romance and beauty of Giselle—the classical tale of a young peasant girl whose heart breaks when it is unveiled that the man she loves is a nobleman betrothed to marry another. A 19th-century masterpiece, Giselle defines the romantic era, featuring the iconic and passionate dance of the Wilis in Act Two. With live accompaniment by the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Yuri Ivan. 

Skylar Brandt of New York is a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 2022, Brandt was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list of influential leaders and entrepreneurs. 

Daniil Simkin of Russia is a Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Beginning with the 2018-2019 season, he joined Staatsballett Berlin as a Principal Dancer while maintaining his position at ABT. He performs worldwide.

Music by Adolph Adam
Choreography by Coralli & Perrot


The University of Minnesota is not endorsing or sponsoring the activities conducted by the presenter(s) of this event on the University of Minnesota campus. The relationship between the University of Minnesota and the presenter(s) of this event is solely that of licensor and licensee.

Know Before You Go

Event Information

  • Sunday Performance
    1:30 pm
    Begins: 2:00 pm
    Today's performance by Metropolitan Ballet will continue as scheduled. (updated 11:00 am, 3/24)
  • Please note that due to the weather, the Nolte Center Garage driveway is unsafe to use, and the garage will be closed for the rest of the day.  All cars that need to pay for parking upon arrival should park in either Fourth Street Ramp or Washington Avenue Ramp.

  • Duration: Approximately 2 hours with one intermission
  • Accessibility: Accessibility services available upon request.
  • Detailed Event Information: Find Your Event Info link on your Northrop order confirmation or check your email within 48 hours for detailed information from Northrop, U of M

If you need assistance with your tickets, please call 612-624-2345, email

Reviews and More

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In the Media

“The Metropolitan Ballet makes magic”

Pioneer Press

Five Facts to Know About Giselle

by Metropolitan Ballet

Check out these featured facts before the performance of Giselle Starring Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt, and prepare to be enchanted by the magical world of classical ballet as Metropolitan Ballet celebrates 25 years. Featuring the extraordinary talents of world-renowned ballet dancers Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt—the recent star of American Ballet Theater’s production of Giselle in what The New York Times praised as a “breakthrough performance”—this iconic presentation promises an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of romance and beauty.

  1. The Enigmatic "Wilis" and Supernatural Spirits
    Embark on a journey into the spectral world of the "Wilis," ethereal spirits seeking retribution. Originating from a Slavic witch spirit, these ghostly figures add an eerie dimension to Giselle's narrative. A tale of love and vengeance, their presence brings a haunting allure to the ballet, creating a timeless story of passion and betrayal.
  2. Giselle's Iconic "Mad Scene" Drama
    The pinnacle of emotion and technical skill, Giselle's "mad scene" in Act 1 is a mesmerizing display of heartbreak. Unraveling the complexities of love and deceit, this scene demands both dance virtuosity and a profound connection to the character's turmoil. Witnessing it is like stepping into the tumultuous heart of the ballet, where love transforms into heartbreak.
  3. Waltzing into Cultural Context
    Giselle's waltz entrance isn't just a dance; it's a cultural statement. In the 1800s, when Giselle was created, the waltz symbolized Germany. Seamlessly incorporating this cultural cue, the ballet sets the stage for the unfolding narrative. The waltz becomes a symbolic bridge, guiding the audience through the ballet's rich and varied emotional landscape.
  4. The Evolution of Mime and Dance
    In Giselle's early days, mime dominated, occupying 54 minutes of the production. Over time, dance has taken center stage, reflecting ballet's storytelling evolution. Dancers now seamlessly blend technical prowess with compelling acting, enriching the audience's experience. This transition showcases the art form's adaptability and the enduring power of visual storytelling.
  5. Giselle's Influence Beyond the Stage
    The name "Giselle" echoes the Germanic word "gisil," meaning "hostage" or "pledge." This connection adds symbolism to the character's fate. Giselle’s iconic hairstyle originated in Paris in 1841 and became a cultural phenomenon, demonstrating the ballet's impact on fashion and society. Giselle's influence transcends the stage, leaving an indelible mark on language, culture, and even hairstyling trends.

Giselle’s Captivating Duo: Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt

Submitted by Metropolitan Ballet

Two exceptional talents, Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt, come together to immerse us in the spellbinding world of Giselle Starring Daniil Simkin and Skylar Brandt. Discover the stories behind these principal dancers, their remarkable journeys, and the magic they bring to this timeless ballet.

Daniil Simkin leaps in the air

Photo courtesy of Daniil Simkin.

Daniil Simkin: A Ballet Maverick's Journey

Daniil Simkin, a principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Berlin State Ballet, has had an extraordinary career. Known for his technical brilliance, Simkin's rise from social media sensation to a global ballet icon is a testament to his unparalleled skill and commitment. With inspirations like Baryshnikov and Nureyev, Simkin has carved his path as a modern virtuoso.

Skylar Brandt leaps outside in costume

Photo courtesy of Skylar Brandt.

Skylar Brandt: Rising Star of American Ballet Theatre

Skylar Brandt's journey has taken her from Scarsdale Ballet Studio to become a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. A silver medalist at the Youth America Grand Prix, Brandt's ascent through the ranks showcases her dedication and artistry. In 2022, she was named to the renowned Forbes 30 Under 30 list of most influential leaders and entrepreneurs. From lead roles in classical ballets to creating new characters, Brandt's versatility and grace captivate audiences worldwide.

Skylar Brandt and Daniil Simkin

Photos courtesy of Skylar Brandt and Daniil Simkin.

The Dynamic Partnership

Simkin and Brandt unite on stage for Giselle, bringing their rich chemistry to Minnesota audiences. Their collaboration transcends the steps, creating a mesmerizing narrative of love and tragedy. Simkin's expressive leaps and Brandt's emotive storytelling converge, bringing Giselle's tale to life with a unique blend of technical prowess and emotional depth.

Skylar Brandt portrait by Daniil Simkin dance photo

Photos courtesy of Skylar Brandt and Daniil Simkin.

Beyond Giselle: Daniil Simkin's Studio Simkin and Skylar Brandt's Versatility

Simkin and Brandt aren’t limited to the stage. Simkin's Studio Simkin, founded in 2021, pushes the boundaries of dance through innovative productions. Brandt's participation in international galas and her roles in documentaries showcase her commitment to expanding ballet's reach. Together, they exemplify the future of ballet, both on and off the stage.