Four artworks hang on a wall. Artworks inspired by the ballet, Giselle.

Giselle

For the bunheads who collect ballet curiosities, wishes, and dreams.

Match with: Outlander, The Night Circus, Beauty and the Beast.

And, of course, your curios: the music box, the pointe shoes (slightly grass-stained), the bottles of lavender oil, the single swan feather, the chunk of amber with a dragonfly inside, and the ornate mirror that sometimes shows mist rather than a reflection.

Giselle

About this collection

Ballerina, Paige Cockerton, models for an art collection inspired by the ballet, Giselle. She stands en pointe among the trees, her white tulle dress floating behind her.

What’s your dream ballet?

At 16 years old, aspiring ballerina Paige was well on her way to becoming a professional dancer. I asked her, “what’s your dream ballet?” Her answer came back straight away:

Giselle

First performed in Paris, 1841, Giselle is a classic, romantic ballet—along with suitably gothic ghosts.

Act I. Imagine a mediaeval village swathed in autumn golds and oranges. Giselle is a peasant girl who’s madly in love. But, by the end of the day, she’s heartbroken to find out her fiancé isn’t who he says he is. Worse, he’s a nobleman and engaged to another lady to boot. #worstdayever doesn’t cover it. She dies of a broken heart.

Act II is the domain of ethereal, ghostly spirits called the wilis. Giselle has joined them. ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. With their long tulle skirts shining in the moonlight, the wilis capture the fiancé in the forest and go about making him dance to death. Giselle comes to his rescue, forgiving him, and he gets to go free. Giselle can now rest in peace.

Watch time: 5 minutes.
Artist, Ailene, attempts to demonstrate a ballet pose while ballerina, Paige Cockerton, does the proper one.

Credits and epilogue

A huge thanks to:

  • Paige’s mum—our very own artistic director
  • Paige’s dad—our behind-the-scenes photographer
  • Paige—an absolutely inspiring model, who kindly didn’t laugh tooo much at my attempts at ballet poses, and made it look so easy (even on grass!)

Where is Paige now? Well. Soon after this, Paige headed to full-time dance school in Christchurch, on a scholarship. Six months later, she was diagnosed with a rare muscular condition—meaning that her goal of being a full-time, professional dancer was off the table. Paige came home and went back to school. Now, she’s running half marathons, is determined to beat her dad in their running competition, and is at university studying philosophy.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of these artworks go to Paige to help her with whatever dream she wants to pursue.