Have you ever been ghosted by someone you were into? It’s happened to many of us. But what if you had really fallen for that person? It’s a heartbreaking experience and it beckons the question of whether things were easier back in the day before social media – when someone would have to break up with you face-to-face or over the phone. Further to that, isn’t it ironic how we can still feel so isolated in an era where we’re all connected digitally? Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY has taken the iconic classical ballet Giselle, and reimagined it in today’s social media-driven world with @giselle.
World premiering this Thursday, September 5 at the Vancouver Playhouse, @giselle integrates the beloved ballet with today’s social media culture. The original ballet told the story of a young girl who dies of a broken heart when she discovers the boy she’s in love with is betrothed to another. In Beamish’s new work, Giselle is a modern-day girl who is ghosted by her love interest and then goes on to live stream her untimely death.
Catherine Hurlin (soloist at American Ballet Theatre), Harrison James (principal at The National Ballet of Canada) and Sterling Baca (principal at Pennsylvania Ballet) star in @giselle.
This full-length work is inspired by a previous piece commissioned by the Royal Ballet in London. Using innovative visuals to integrate social media and digital art with dance, Beamish has assembled an exciting collection of elite dance artists from across North America, including principal dancers and soloists from American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada and Pennsylvania Ballet.
“I am deeply honoured to bring together such a stellar group of dance artists from across North America to collaborate on such a timely production,” says Beamish. “@giselle is a careful examination of the evaporation of true romance in our culture. Utilizing cutting-edge motion capture technologies and screen projections of social media ephemera, this full-length work will challenge audiences to consider the ways that technology has leveraged an unexpected change upon the very nature of modern love and relationships, which now seem fueled by a disdain for accountability and an increase in personal narcissism.”
The principals and soloists will be supported by dancers from Ballet Edmonton, the Alberta Ballet Trainee Program and graduates from varied local dance training institutions such as Arts Umbrella, Richmond Academy, Pro Arte, Tri-city Dance, and SFU.
Don’t miss the world premiere of the inventive new work @giselle, which promises to stretch the limits of storytelling through dance.
@giselle, presented by Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY runs September 5-7 at the Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets available at joshuabeamish.eventbrite.com.