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For the first time in the memory of local balletomanes, a full local production of the beloved ballet “Giselle” will open in Shea’s Performing Arts Center. A collaboration between Neglia Ballet Artists and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, it is one of the larger local ballet undertakings in recent years.

One of the oldest ballets still in the repertoire of major companies, “Giselle” tells the heartbreaking tale of a love affair gone horribly awry. The peasant girl Giselle falls head-over-heels for the carousing Albrecht, only to later learn that Albrecht is betrothed to another, richer woman. This doesn’t turn out well for the crestfallen Giselle, who dies tragically. Nor is it a walk in the park for the foolhardy Albrecht, who – isn’t it always the way? – is condemned by a cabal of evil spirits to dance until he dies.

The role of Giselle will be danced by the frequent Neglia performer Silvina Vaccarelli, who hails from Argentina. Albrecht will be danced by company founder Sergio Neglia. “He is a complicated character,” Neglia said in a release. “At first his intention is to have some fun, but he falls in love with Giselle and causes this terrible tragedy. It really is heartbreaking.” –Colin Dabkowski

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“Giselle” with Neglia Ballet and the BPO – Where: Shea’s Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. When: 7:30 tonight. Tickets: $20 to $75. Info: 847-0850 or www.sheas.org.