There was a special curse laid on women who didn't marry in the 19th century. Alive, they were called witches or hysterics. Dead, in the world of Théophile Gautier, they joined the wilis, a sorority of beautiful but murderous spirits who haunted the woods and danced their defenseless male victims to death. This is the premise of Giselle, the great romantic ballet that opens San Francisco Ballet's 2014 season, in which the innocent peasant girl Giselle is wooed by an aristocrat who likes to play pastoral in his spare time. When she discovers his false identity and betrothal to another lady of the noble classes, Giselle's fragile heart shatters, making her the newest wili in the woods. When he comes to mourn at her grave, the haunting begins. San Francisco Ballet's rendition is choreographed by artistic director Helgi Tomasson to the classic score by Adolphe Adam.