Born out of Reimagining Giselle, a shorter work commissioned by The Royal Ballet and developed through a residency at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund's Pocantico Center, this full-length narrative production can be seen in New York City from 18-19 May 2023 at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater.
Joshua Beamish directs and choreographs the production, which “explores connections between the original classical ballet and our understandings of love, sex, and relationships in a world mediated by dating apps, digital illusions, and fleeting encounters”.
A young woman named Giselle is betrayed, isolated, and ghosted by her romantic partner on social media. In a state of extreme anxiety, Giselle live-streams her premature death and later returns to haunt her male tormentors in the form of motion-captured holograms projected onto the bodies of live dancers, creating a tension between live and digital realities.
Beamish highlights the ways that Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have denatured the ways we fall in and out of love, so @giselle presents a new vision of a classic tale that raises the spectre of persistent male power in light of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
Dancing the main roles will be Betsy McBride, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, as Giselle; Harrison James, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, as Albrecht; and Sterling Baca, principal dancer with Philadelphia Ballet, as Hilarion. Fangqi Li, from ABT will perform the role of Bathilde, and former Ballet Frankfurt and PACT Ballet Johannesburg dancer Beverley Bagg will be Berthe.
@giselle is a careful examination of the evaporation of romance in our culture, and the isolation, narcissism, and lack of accountability that social networks have fueled. By reimagining this story with motion capture technologies and a social media framework, I want to challenge audiences to consider the ways technology is changing the very nature of modern love and relationships.
@giselle has animation and projection design by trans artist and activist Brianna Amore, and costume design by Janie Taylor, rehearsal director with Benjamin Millepied's LA Dance Project and formerly a NYC Ballet principal dancer. Lighting is by Abigail Hoke-Brady.
Beamish founded the Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY in 2005 and his works have since extensively toured internationally. Outside of the company, he has created works in collaboration with The Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet's Wendy Whelan for Restless Creature and ABT Principals Herman Cornejo, Skylar Brandt and Catherine Hurlin, among others.
@giselle tickets $55/$45/$35 (plus applicable fees) and $15 student tickets with promo code: GISELLESTUDENT
To purchase visit: www.joshuabeamish.com
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.