Dating today is a lot different than it was when the classic ballet Giselle premiered in 1841 by what is now known as the Paris Opera Ballet. In @giselle, a new reimagining of the tale presented by Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater, the 19th-century romance gets a 21st-century upgrade. The romantic ballet is infused with technology and the contemporary pitfalls of modern love.
@giselle Ballet Performance
The original version of Giselle is based on a German legend. The story follows a young peasant girl named Giselle, who dies of a broken heart after discovering her lover, Albrecht, is betrothed to another. The Wilis, a group of mystic and supernatural women who dance men to death, summon Giselle from her grave. The ballet follows Giselle through a journey of love and betrayal.
Beamish’s new modern interpretation pulls inspiration from the original production and a shorter work, Reimagining Giselle, commissioned by The Royal Ballet in London. Using these two previous works as a starting point, Beamish infuses the classic love story with modern technology and shows how Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have profoundly “denatured the ways we fall in and out of love.” @giselle follows a young woman named Giselle
who is betrayed, isolated, and ghosted by her romantic partner on social media. In a state of extreme anxiety, Giselle livestreams 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. The powerful tale comments not only on the prevalence of social media in our lives but also on male power in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Directed and choreographed by Beamish, @giselle features world-class dancers, stunning animation and projection design by trans artist and activist Brianna Amore, and costume design by Janie Taylor. Betsy McBride, soloist with American Ballet Theatre, performs in the title role of Giselle while Harrison James, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, dances the role of Albrecht. The lighting is designed by Abigail Hoke-Brady and the performance is set to a recording of the original score composed by Adolphe Adam.
@giselle will be performed on May 18 and 19 at 7:30pm at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater. Co-presented by The CUNY Dance Initiative and The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 West 59th Street, NYC) you can purchase tickets here. Students can get tickets for just $15 and if you are an Untapped New York Insider, you can claim a free ticket to the May 18th performance!