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Catch the Bolshoi Ballet on the Big Screen in Alexei Ratmansky's "Giselle"

Bolshoi Ballet principals Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov in Alexei Ratmansky's production of Giselle. Damir Yusupov, Courtesy of Bolshoi Theatre.

Bolshoi fans, listen up: On Sunday, January 26, the company will broadcast Alexei Ratmansky's new production of Giselle—captured from a live performance in Moscow earlier that day—to over 450 North American movie theaters as part of its Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema season. Olga Smirnova and Artemy Belyakov will star as Giselle and Albrecht, along with Angelina Vlashinets as Myrtha and Denis Savin as Hans, the Gatekeeper.



While not a full reconstruction, Ratmansky has imbued this production with details gleaned from historic notations. Specifically, he has referenced French choreographer Henri Justament's notes from the mid-19th century and Nikolai Sergeyev's Stepanov notations from the early 20th. Robert Perdziola's sets and costumes are based on 1924 sketches by Alexander Benois for the Paris Opéra Ballet.

According to recent reviews from the November premiere, mime scenes have been clarified and refreshed, the Wilis of Act II possess more chilling strength, and Bathilde's character has greater significance. A lost fugue for the Wilis, choreographed by Ratmansky, has been added back in. And the ballet's original ending—which may surprise some—has been restored.

With all that said, tickets will probably go fast! To see if Giselle is playing at a movie theater near you, go to bolshoiballetincinema.com and enter your zip code.

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

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Are you more of a Giselle or a Juliet?

I've always said that my favorite role is Juliet, because of her vulnerability and maturity throughout the ballet. But now that I've performed Giselle, I find her so incredibly enjoyable, from being a village girl who falls in love for the first time to the most tender, almost weightless dancing in Act II.

Are you more at home in the studio or onstage?

I love the time in the studio. The process of starting from zero to getting better each day is so rewarding. My favorite phrase in rehearsals is "Let's do it again, so I can sleep in peace tonight." I need to feel so comfortable in the studio so that when I am onstage there are no bad surprises.

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