April Symposium Re-envisions Giselle

  • Pacific Northwest Ballet and the School of Music are collaborating on a symposium exploring the ballet "Giselle" (Photo: courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet).
    Pacific Northwest Ballet and the School of Music are collaborating on a symposium exploring the ballet "Giselle" (Photo: courtesy Pacific Northwest Ballet).

April symposium examines the historical roots of an enduring ballet tale while celebrating its revival.

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s April 2020 staging of Adolphe Adams’ 1841 ballet Giselle—its first since 2014—is a rare instance of an American company basing a revival of a 19th-century classical ballet on primary source documents.

So says UW Music History professor JoAnn Taricani, who along with PNB education programs manager (and School of Music alumnus) Doug Fullington co-presents “Re-envisioning Giselle,” a symposium exploring the roots and reconstruction of this enduring ballet tale.

The symposium convenes scholars, historians and practitioners on the University of Washington campus April 16 and 17, 2020 for an intensive exploration of Giselle and its original source manuscripts—some only recently re-discovered—that reveal crucial information about the work that had been forgotten over time.

Recovering lost aspects of historical works is an endeavor of particular interest to Professor Taricani, whose research in early music has resulted in various re-constructions of works first created hundreds of years ago. Fullington, a UW alumnus, is known internationally for his expertise in Giselle’s historical record. 

Events on April 16 include a panel on current issues in arts criticism with critics from the New York TimesNew Yorker, and Seattle TimesOn April 17, eight presenters from the U.S. and Russia will meet to discuss aspects of "Giselle" and PNB's reconstruction.

Presented by the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities, which provides funding grants to UW faculty for cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary symposia, colloquia, and conferences of various scales, “Re-envisioning Giselle” receives additional support from the School of Music, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) contributor Patty Edwards, and Princeton University's Department of Music, which presents a companion symposium in April. 

Registration is required for the April 17 event ($25 for visitors; free to UW staff and students with ID).  More details, and a link to registration, can be found here.  

PNB’s production of Giselle runs April 9-20, 2020. Details of performances and related educational events may be found here.

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