The Royal New Zealand Ballet | Giselle leaps between stage and silver screen

November 2, 2012

Press Releases

The Royal New Zealand Ballet | Giselle leaps between stage and silver screen

ballet dancers in rehearsal

The New Zealand Film Commission is thrilled to announce support for a new feature film Giselle in collaboration with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Filming of Giselle is already underway with the ballet production of the same name approaching opening night.

“This is an exciting collaborative project, which we expect to be a beautiful and moving film focusing on an already well-loved story and ballet” says New Zealand Film Commission Chief Executive Graeme Mason.  “The combination of this talented filmmaking team, the draw of a ballet company of this calibre, and the regard of Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel is sure to make something truly special for cinema audiences”.

Ethan Stiefel (pictured), recently retired world renowned Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre, will co-choreograph and produce Giselle the ballet with Johan Kobborg, the internationally acclaimed Principal Dancer of London’s Royal Ballet.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to bring ballet to a wider audience through film.  Johan Kobborg and I have both performed the lead male role of Albrecht many times, so it’s a an honour to be able to present our unique vision of one of the most dramatic and beautiful ballets to the stage and then to also have it adapted for film,’ says Ethan Stiefel, Artistic Director, RNZB.

Giselle the film will be produced by Matthew Metcalfe (Dean Spanley, Love Birds), and directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Toa Fraser (No.2, Dean Spanley).  It will capture performances, rehearsals and much more.

“Our film is an interpretation of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s beautiful, moving production of Giselle,” says Toa Fraser.  “The film will move in and out of the theatre, through time and space, to create a truly cinematic, poetic retelling of the story”.

“Creative commercial partnerships like this are really important for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s growth.  To be collaborating with the New Zealand Film Commission, Matthew Metcalfe and Toa Fraser on this project is an incredible exciting new venture for us,” says Amanda Skoog, Managing Director, RNZB.

Giselle will star Prima Ballerina Gillian Murphy, Ethan Stiefel’s fiancée and fellow star of the American Ballet Theatre.

Giselle the ballet will premiere in Wellington on November the 7th ahead of a seven centre tour.  More details of the schedule can be seen here.

The New Zealand Film Commission has invested in the production in association with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, DigiFilm and Rialto Distribution

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