Ballet-hoo over festival title
Acclaimed New Zealand playwright and film director Toa Fraser’s feature film interpretation of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s performance of Giselle, will have its world premiere in the opening weekend of the New Zealand International Film Festival at the Civic Theatre, Auckland.
The filming of Giselle commenced in October/November 2012 in the lead up to the ballet’s seven-centre New Zealand tour and three-week tour of China.
Ethan Stiefel, RNZB Artistic Director and Johan Kobborg, internationally acclaimed Principal Dancer of London’s Royal Ballet co-choreographed the ballet. Prima Ballerina, Gillian Murphy, RNZB Principal Guest Artist and star of the American Ballet Theatre, dances the role of Giselle with acclaimed Chinese/New Zealand dancer Qi Huan playing Albrecht, giving a performance which has been gathering him critical acclaim around the world.
“The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s superb, universally acclaimed production of Giselle has now been made into a superb film. Director Toa Fraser and cinematographer Leon Narbey have worked intensively with the company to ensure that this screen version works wonders in its own right.” says Bill Gosden, NZIFF Director.
“The RNZB is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, has just toured three weeks in China and now has the immense privilege of premiering a feature film inspired by our recent Giselle production. Through the making of this film, all involved have been presented with an amazing opportunity to share a wide variety of the good things that are happening in New Zealand arts and culture. The RNZB is appreciative and proud to have been asked to be a part of such a beautiful project” says Ethan Stiefel, Artistic Director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
New Zealand Film Commission CEO Graeme Mason added “The NZFC is delighted this collaboration with the RNZB has resulted in this beautiful and entrancing film with a unique view of a much loved and romantic ballet. The festival cinema audience are in for a very special treat.”
Giselle is a collaboration between the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) with additional investment from Auckland’s Digi Film, and was produced by Matthew Metcalfe (Dean Spanley, Love Birds, Beyond the Edge 3D). The film is being released in New Zealand and Australia by Rialto Distribution.