The unusual marriage of Romantic ballet and artificial intelligence is an intriguing idea that led a team of interdisciplinary researchers to design iGiselle, a video game prototype. Scholars in the fields of literature, music, design, and computer science collaborated to modernize the 1841 ballet Giselle. Their goal was to revise the tragic narrative of the nineteenth-century culture of death, allowing players to empower the eponymous heroine for possible “feminine endings.” The eight interrelated chapters chronicle the origin, development, and fruition of the project and exemplify collaboration. Dancers, gamers, and computer specialists will all find something original that will stimulate their respective interests.
“The field of Game Studies is a relatively new discipline with exciting emergent research. Uniquely, this project focuses on a type of dance narrative design that unfolds the story procedurally, based on players’ choices and the emotional arc of the game experience. Additionally, this is the first game where the narrative of a specific ballet has been used for the base story.” (JoDee Allen, Game and Movement Designer 2018-12-18)
“The scholarship contained within this work is multidisciplinary and seeks to elaborate on how one cultural object is related to different fields.” (Jonathan Osborn, Dancer and Choreographer 2018-12-11)
“iGiselle brings ballet into the burgeoning field of immersive dance video games by rethinking the intersections between gender, narrative, and technology.” (Allana C. Lindgren, Associate Professor, University of Victoria 2018-12-13)
Romantic ballet meets artificial intelligence to change the tragic narrative, allowing for possible “feminine endings.”