Virtual Dance: GISELLE OF LONELINESS (Ballez at The Joyce)

Post image for Virtual Dance: GISELLE OF LONELINESS (Ballez at The Joyce)

by Lamont Williams on May 19, 2021

in Dance,Theater-New York,Virtual

The Joyce celebrates Pride 2021 with the Joyce debut of the queer, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming artists of Ballez in Giselle of Loneliness, created by the company’s founder, Katy Pyle. This deconstruction of one of the world’s most famous and oft-performed ballets — and of the construct and constraints of classical ballet as a whole — will stream live from The Joyce on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 8pm ET. For tickets ($25 per household), which also grant on-demand access to the performance through June 23, visit The Joyce.

For ten years, Ballez has reinvented the classical ballet canon, reframing the long-held ideals of femininity within the art form through the lens of the company’s queer perspective. In their Joyce debut, seven dancers vie for the chance to take on one of the most iconic leading lady roles and its inherent heartbreak, despair, and madness.

Framed as an audition for the nearly two century-old legendary role of Giselle, each dancer—all female-assigned or of femme experience, but otherwise outside of the narrow prima ballerina archetype—performs their own rendition of the notoriously difficult “mad scene,” competing for real-time audience votes and the chance to squeeze themselves into the oppressive mold of canonical ballet. With a leading role on the line, Giselle of Loneliness asks each dancer to face how much of themselves they are willing to sacrifice for a system that continually rejects them, as well as forcing the audience to choose how long they will continue to participate in upholding archaic and arbitrary standards of fragile femininity.

Choreography (after Coralli and Perrot), direction, and costume design are by Ballez founder Katy Pyle, joined on stage by dancers Charles Gowin, Meg Harper, Maxfield Haynes, Matthias Kodat, Deborah Lohse, MJ Markovitz, Janet Panetta, Ash Phan, Alexandra Waterbury, and Nat Wilson.

photos of Matthias Kodat as Giselle by M. Sharkey

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