11 January 2018 / Events

‘Digging Up Giselle’: What Happens when Ballet and Archaeology Meet

Presented by Keith Cavers

Giselle is one of the most popular works in the modern ballet repertoire – we see it today in many productions some innovative and some traditional – but are any of them in any way ‘authentic’? By applying archaeological techniques to the ‘remains’ is it possible to form a clearer impression of the original production? I will be looking in detail at the vast range of visual evidence and the many various texts which form the foundation of modern productions – are those foundations as solid as they seem?

Keith Cavers studied Stage Management at RADA graduating in 1974. He has worked for Festival Ballet, The Royal Opera House, De Wolfe Music, Decca and the National Theatre. He gained a BA in the history of drawing and printmaking at Camberwell (1989) and an M. Phil at Surrey with a thesis on James Harvey D’Egville. The latter led to a visiting research fellowship at Harvard in 1996 and further research there in 2015 and 2016 to complete (almost) his catalogue of English Dance Prints 1670-1836. He taught at Camberwell for 20 years and was Information Officer at the National Gallery for 12. He assisted john Gill with the Romantic Ballet exhibition (Royal Festival Hall 1985) and curated exhibitions on Nancy Dawson (ROH 1987), Louisa Fairbrother (Kensal Green 2000) and John Slezer (National Library of Scotland 1993). He is now a Consulting Iconographer in private practise and specialises in the iconography of the performing arts.


11 January 2018




Swedenborg Hall, Barter Street, London WC1A 2TH, UK