From May 18-19, 2023, New York City audiences will have the opportunity to see their city’s premiere of Joshua Beamish’s @giselle danced by a cast of stars from some of North America’s greatest ballet companies – Betsy McBride, Harrison James, and Sterling Baca.
Coming from American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada, and Philadelphia Ballet, respectively, McBride, James, and Baca will dance the roles of Giselle, Albrecht, and Hilarion. Complementing the principal cast are ABT’s Fangqi Li as Bathilde and former Ballet Frankfurt and PACT Ballet Johannesburg dancer Beverley Bagg as Berthe.
Although Beamish has maintained the traditional character names and the original Adolphe Adam score, @giselle is anything but the classical ballet Giselle as we know it.
Trailer for Joshua Beamish's @giselle
@giselle was born out of Reimagining Giselle, a shorter work commissioned by The Royal Ballet in London and further developed through a residency at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pocantico Center.
@giselle updates the narrative to the present, telling the story of 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, creating a haunting tension between live and digital realities.
Highlighting the ways that Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook have profoundly denatured the ways we fall in and out of love, @giselle is a bracing new vision of a classic tale that also raises the spectre of persistent male power in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
@giselle features stunning 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 New York City Ballet principal dancer. Lighting is designed by Abigail Hoke-Brady.
Featured Photo of Betsy McBride and James Harrison in Joshua Beamish‘s @giselle. Photo by Cara Tench.
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