Star of Channel 4 series Big Ballet, Monica Loughman (@ballerinaie) brings first ballet to @LyricBelfast

Monica Loughman

The Monica Loughman Ballet Company brings one of the greatest of all romantic ballets, Giselle to the Lyric Theatre, Belfast for two nights only this April.

Monica Loughman starred alongside British ballet legend Wayne Sleep in Channel 4’s epic series Big Ballet. In this three-part series the choreographer worked with a troupe of plus sized dancers to produce a final performance of Swan Lake. The programme received broad critical acclaim for challenging taboos in the ballet community and handling the related issues in a positive way.

Monica Loughman

Monica Loughman’s Irish ballet company has a roster of seventy dancers from across Ireland and Northern Ireland and performs seasonally in the 2000 seat Convention Centre Dublin as well as touring nationally.  The company’s repertoire includes, La Sylphide, The Nutcracker, Vivaldi Seasons and Giselle.


Giselle is the first ballet performance to come to the Lyric Theatre since its rebuild in 2011. It’s also Monica Loughman’s favourite ballet and is a role that she danced almost 300 times during her career with the Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet in Russia.  Besides her recent television series, Monica Loughman is well known in Ireland because of her story: she went to Russia aged just 14 to train and went on to become the first ever westerner to get a job in a major Russian company. She later wrote a best-selling book about her experiences in Russia where she became a prima ballerina.

For this performance, Monica is bringing guest star, the beautiful Kristine Neiksina from Lithuania National Opera Ballet to dance Giselle and Irish ballerina and rising star Leanne Sexton will perform the coveted role of Myrtha. Since 2004 Monica Loughman has been developing the Irish ballet company to the scale that it is today and it now performs to tens of thousands of people across Ireland annually.


Monica Loughman’s production of Marius Petipa’s classic Giselle is a tale of betrayal, supernatural spirits and love that transcends death.  This popular family ballet has been performed to full houses across Ireland in recent years and was attended by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins in Galway in 2011.

Giselle is a peasant girl who in Act One has fallen in love with Count Albrecht, who has led her to believe that he is a villager named Loys. Her discovery of his true identity has devastating consequences. Act two plunges the audience into an eerie moonlit forest haunted by the ethereal Wilis – vengeful spirits of young brides who died before their wedding day.

Giselle is the quintessential Romantic ballet. It transformed the dance world when it was first performed in Paris in 1841 and remains at the centre of the classical repertory.

Monica Loughman’s production uses Marius Petipa’s classic version, which was first staged in St Petersburg in 1884.  Her style of choreography is classically Russian and comes from her years as principal ballerina of the Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet.

Giselle is at the Lyric Theatre on Friday and Saturday, April 4th and 5th, 2014 at 7.30pm. Tickets are | £20 / £15 Concession (Under 16s, Unwaged, Over 65) / Family Ticket (2 children, 2 adults or 3 children, 1 adult) £60

To book contact Lyric Box Office on 028 90381081 


Lyric Theatre Ballet

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