This documentary sees Dean Spanley director Toa Fraser and producer Matthew Metcalfe swap dialogue for dance. Based on The Royal NZ Ballet's acclaimed 2012 production of Giselle, the movie features American Ballet Theatre star Gillian Murphy as the dance-mad villager, wooed by a prince in disguise. Inspired by concert film The Last Waltz, a Leon Narbey-led camera team filmed the performance, with scenes of the lead dancers in Shanghai and New York counterpointing the onstage action. Following its Kiwi festival debut, Giselle screened at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.
(Producer) Matthew (Metcalfe) came to me with real generosity and grace. He basically said here's some money to make a ballet film and it can be whatever you want. The parameters were both broad and narrow at the same time.– Toa Fraser
General Film Corporation
Giselle composed by Adolphe Adam, libretto written by Jules-Henri Vernoy De Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier. Performed by the Auckland Phlharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Michael Lloyd
When the Trumpets Sound composed and performed by Don McGlashan