Giselle Ballet – Final Dress Rehearsal

A few weeks ago, Joburg Ballet invited people to photograph the final dress rehearsal of the Giselle Ballet, for a small fee.  It was an amazing opportunity; Giselle is an extraordinary ballet telling the moving story of a young girl who dies of a broken heart.

I finally managed to finish sorting and editing the images a week ago, on the way to a well-needed getaway to the Kruger (see images soon!).

The first act occurs on a sunny autumn morning during the Middle Ages; the season was reflected in the red and orange leaves decorating the set.  The strobes cast a horrible colour cast on the dancer’s skin, which I corrected with Google’s Color Efex 4 Pro software.    I also enjoyed playing around with Google’s Analog Efex Pro 2 software for interesting artsy effects.

Act I ended with a dramatic portrayal of Giselle’s death; after discovering that her lover is engaged to marry another woman, Giselle dances violently until her heart gives out.

Act II took place in a misty graveyard, with a strong blue colour-cast.  A group of avenging, supernatural woman (‘The Wilis’) summon Giselle from her grave, and attempt to sentence her lover to death over his betrayal.  Giselle’s enduring love overcomes the Wilis’ hatred; she saves her lover before returning to her grave for good.

My fine art renditions of the dancers from Act II ended up being my favourite images of the day (actually, I think my favourites of the year so far).  I edited most of the photos in Google’s Silver Efex Pro 2 and Analog Efex Pro 2 software, along with my usual Lightroom workflow.

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