From March 3-5, 2023, American Repertory Ballet performs Giselle – the production originally created by Artistic Director Ethan Steifel and Johan Kobborg for Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Giselle has been restaged and partially redesigned for American Repertory Ballet (ARB) thanks to scenic, costume, and lighting designers Howard Jones, Natalia Stewart , and Joseph R. Walls, respectively.
The New Brunswick Performing Arts Center will showcase a version of this romantic ballet that features a Hilarion that dances more, plus a Wedding Couple. The Wilis “are characterized by a unique and determinable strength” and Albrecht as “untraditionally remorseful”.
“Giselle was so meaningful to both Johan and me as performers during our careers. Excited by the opportunity to honor the legacy of Giselle and to retain the essence of a beloved work that has been iconic for almost two centuries, we have also sought to inject some new pace into the story-telling and to augment the dancing, story, and characters. We had a clear and unified vision of what we wanted to achieve and feel that this production strikes an elegant balance of shedding new light on the classic, yet maintaining what has made Giselle so special for so long."
Artistic Director of American Repertory Ballet
Kobborg, who is a veteran of the Royal Danish Ballet and London’s Royal Ballet, says of this collaboration,
“I am looking very much forward to revisiting, reworking, and tailoring our Giselle production for ARB. Creating Giselle with Ethan Stiefel in 2012 is to this day one of my career’s creative highlights. Collaborating on the unique task of creating and bringing to life a joint artistic vision and choreographic language proved a wonderfully rare and inspiring process and one that I look forward to further developing on the wonderful dancers of ARB.”
This production was the subject of Toa Fraser’s 2013 feature film and was selected for screening in the NZ International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Featured Photo of Gillian Murphy and Qi Huan in Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s Giselle for Royal New Zealand Ballet. Photo by Evan Li.