Friday, January 17, 2020

Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY Holds Screening of @giselle at Lincoln Center

A new Giselle, by Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY, was screened at The Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center, New York City on January 14, 2020. A modern take on the beloved classic; where dating apps, Snapchat, and Instagram, reinterpret love, sex, and relationships. Titled @giselle it stars ABT's Catherine Hurlin in the title role and Betsy McBride as Bathilde, Pennsylvania Ballet's Sterling Baca as Hilarion, and National Ballet of Canada's Harrison James as Albrecht. The production uses motion-captured digital projections and visual effects to reflect the digital world we live in. Commissioned by TO Live, Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY premiered @giselle at the Vancouver Playhouse in September 2019. 
"The ballet Giselle is one of the most profound constructions of the classical canon.” said Joshua Beamish as he introduced the show. “I want the original work to exist within our production as its own ghost - a ghost from another time. Traditional romance is evaporating. The internet is threatening our ability to value individuals. @giselle shows the evolved hysteria born from unanswered texts, likes, and story views. In today's media saturated environment, is Giselle's descent into "madness" really so shocking? I hope audiences will relate to Giselle's journey and see themselves in the plights, struggles, and joys of the varying characters and their social interactions."
Hurlin, McBride, and Baca joined Beamish on stage after the screening to share the creative process. McBride praised Beamish's hyper-detailed choreography that brought “classical steps into a new light.” The Willis all had their own digital shadow dancing alongside and Hurlin shared that she danced each one in a motion-capturing suit to give the realistic illusion of doubling the number of Willis on stage. Baca noted how Beamish brought a tale as old as time into present-day and quoted his former ABT Director, Kevin McKenzie, "art is an expression of the times in which we live". 

Photos by Sean Zanni PMC

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