One of the Bolshoi Ballet’s most loved productions, “Giselle,” has come to American audiences. Premiering earlier this week, the ballet comes to U.S. movie screens via Pathé Live’s Fathom Events. The production, which features dancers Svetlana Zakharova and Sergei Polunin, gives American ballet fans a chance to see a production otherwise requiring a plane ticket to Moscow.
“Bringing the Bolshoi Ballet to screens across the world gives the audience a chance to see one of the most celebrated ballet companies that is not so easy to see. This production of Giselle is an iconic piece from the Bolshoi repertoire,” says Thierry Fontaine, Pathé Live’s chief executive officer. “Sharing such a performance at the cinema matters to us and the Bolshoi in so many ways, but bringing a new experience of dance to a wider audience with a variety of camera angles, close-ups and backstage footage is certainly what makes our ballet in cinema series extremely exciting.”
“The production of ‘Giselle’ which the Bolshoi Ballet is showing in cinemas is a Yuri Grigorovich 1987 version of the famous XIX century ballet created originally for the dancer Carlotta Grisi on her birthday of June 28, 1841, by choreographers Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot,” Katya Novikova, the Bolshoi’s spokesperson on costumes, explains. “Following the idea of ‘La Sylphide’ (the oldest romantic ballet we know), ‘Giselle’ has the juxtaposition of peasant life in first act and the dreamy ethereal world of the Willis in the second act. This idea is reflected in the sets and costumes as well.”
The costumes seen on screens are designs from the mid-19th-century production of “Giselle.”
“The dreamy world of the Willis is represented by classical romantic white tutus of a particular shape, which is often referred to in Russian as ‘chopenka’ [the same shape was used by Mikhail Fokine when he staged his ‘Chopiniana’],” Novikova says.
The next Bolshoi Fathom screening will be ‘Coppelia,’ on June 10.
Below, look at some of the production’s most noteworthy costume moments.
More from the Eye: