Director Toa Fraser (whose Dean Spanley played the Festival in 2008) has not only captured a remarkable new production, but has added allusions to a fictional parallel offstage love story between the two principal dancers in such a way that both tales — the real and the imagined — are enhanced.
The core of the film is a new staging by Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg of the classic by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, which is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this year. In the ballet, a peasant girl, Giselle (Gillian Murphy), falls in love with Albrecht (Qi Huan), a nobleman who has concealed his true identity. When Giselle discovers that Albrecht has deceived her — and is engaged to someone else — she dies of a broken heart. For his deception, Albrecht is thrown into the hands of the Wilis, spirits of women jilted by their lovers. Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis (Abigail Boyle), seeks revenge on Albrecht, but a resurrected Giselle intervenes.
Offstage, Fraser's nuanced, fleeting images propose the ways that a real-life love story between the two lead dancers might inform their work in the ballet, and vice versa.
Monday September 9, 7:15 pm, Isabel Bader Theatre
Wednesday September 11, 9:15 am, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
Sunday September 15, 2:45 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
According to Gillian Murphy's twitter account, she will be in attendance at the September 9 screening.
You can try buying tickets on TIFF's extraordinarily unhelpful website here: http://tiff.net/filmsandschedules/festival/2013/giselle
If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips by clicking here.
GET MORE BALLET OUT OF LIFE WITH TOURS EN L'AIR
Use the buttons below to share this post on facebook, twitter, by email, or other social media.
You can sign up to have my ballet updates delivered directly to your inbox here.