Hailed as ‘a masterpiece of 21st century dance’ from English National Ballet, Akram Khan’s Giselle is released in cinemas for the first time from 25 April 2018, thanks to a collaboration between English National Ballet and digital commissioning agency The Space, giving ballet fans nationwide the opportunity to see this award-winning production in glorious high definition on the big screen.
The production won an Olivier Award and the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance, received rapturous 5-star reviews and was sold out when it was originally performed at Sadler’s Wells in September last year, in a co-production with Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells.
Recognised as one of the greatest romantic ballets, Giselle has been re-imagined by Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist Akram Khan, with Artistic Director and Lead Principal of English National Ballet, Tamara Rojo, dancing the role of Giselle, one of a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory.
His first full-length ballet, Khan’s Giselle features set and costume designs from Academy Award-winning designer Tim Yip, known for his work on the hit film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and an adaptation of the original Adolphe Adam score by composer Vincenzo Lamagna, orchestrated by Music Director, Gavin Sutherland and performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Giselle also features dramaturgy from Ruth Little and lighting design from Mark Henderson.
Alongside Rojo, further Principal casting sees Soloist James Streeter perform in the role of Albrecht, Guest Artist and Principal of American Ballet Theater Jeffrey Cirio perform as Hilarion, and Artist of the Company, Stina Quagebeur perform in the role of Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis.
This is the first time an English National Ballet production has been filmed for cinema, extending the reach of the company beyond its existing national and international touring programme. The film was commissioned by The Space, the digital agency which supports UK arts organisations to grow their audiences across digital, cinema and broadcast platforms.
Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet said: “We are very proud of Akram Khan’s Giselle, a beautiful and original re-imagining of the one of the most traditional pieces of the classical repertoire. At English National Ballet we aim to push the boundaries of ballet, taking the art form to the widest possible audience, and so it seems entirely fitting that this stunning work should be the first production from English National Ballet to be released in cinemas. The company is incredibly excited that our fans across the country and around the world will have the opportunity to see this iconic work on the big screen.”
Alistair Spalding, Sadler’s Wells’ Artistic Director and Chief Executive said: “In Akram’s creative hands, the emotional essence of Giselle has been successfully preserved, while at the same time its form has been given an entirely new life. The result is a contemporary ballet that is powerful, poetic and relevant to our time. I’m delighted that an even wider audience will now be able to see the work in cinemas.”
Filmed live at the Liverpool Empire in October 2017, Akram Khan’s Giselle is directed for the screen by Ross McGibbon. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
For more information and to book cinema tickets, visit www.ballet.org.uk/giselle-cinema