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A new model for collaborative digital projects

Brighton, UK

Glitch/Giselle is a critical and creative exploration of the 19th century Romantic ballet, Giselle. We wanted to try an experiment in new ways of working and new forms of digital media production, Glitch/Giselle is the result.

A unique collaboration

The team behind Glitch/Giselle is an unusual collaboration involving film-maker/choreographer, Marisa Zanotti, artist, Grant Cieciura, who is also our design lead, and the team at Cogapp.

This core group undertook a series of sub-projects with, at one time or another, a group of professional dancers, a class of dance students at a secondary school in Kent, a composer/sound-artist, a film editor, numerous scholars and the archives of the V&A, the British Library and the Bibliotheque national de France.

Highlights of the project

Photograph of dancers
Still from the film of our work with dance students from Herne Bay High

Marisa Zanotti did ground-breaking education work with the dance students at Herne Bay High School, getting a class of secondary schoolchildren to engage deeply and seriously with a classical ballet.

Unexpected Connections

We discovered unexpected and important creative/cultural connections.

Collage of imagery from the project
Connecting Giselle to classical antiquity, Greek mythology and Titian

Find out how we uncovered connections between Giselle and Greek mythology; the Industrial Revolution; and the Battle of Waterloo.

Experimental Films

Marisa Zanotti made a series of experimental films based on our historical and choreographic research.

Imagery from a series of experimental films based on our research
A series of experimental films based on our research

New ways to use archive material

We found new ways to use digitised archive material to bring past events to life.

Image of archive material from the ballet’s London première
Using archive material to revisit the ballet’s London première

Experimental soundwork

Composer/sound-artist, Philip Jeck, worked with Marisa Zanotti to make an unusual soundwork based on the ballet’s libretto.

An unusual soundwork based on the ballet’s libretto with composer/sound-artist Philip Jeck
An unusual soundwork based on the ballet’s libretto with composer/sound-artist Philip Jeck

An extensible and reusable model

We covered so much ground in our research and produced so much material in a wide variety of formats that we needed a new way to present it; a system that would be coherent, connected and extensible. The result which is embodied in our content management system is completely reusable for future projects.

Glitch/Giselle is presented in the form of a deck of tarot cards. Each card represents one aspect of the world of Giselle as seen through the lens of our project.

Like a tarot deck, the cards appear in groups. Also like a tarot deck, the cards have affinities. So each card connects to a set of related cards. Visitors explore the world of Giselle by turning over cards and moving between them. From an editorial point of view this system makes it easy to extend the content by adding new cards and making new connections between them.

The result is a modern take on the classic ‘hypertext’ idea first proposed by Vannevar Bush in his seminal 1945 paper ‘As We May Think’.

Technical implementation

The technical implementation of the project uses Craft CMS. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with.


Glitch/Giselle was funded by an R&D grant from Arts Council England with support from South East Dance, the V&A and Cogapp.


Excellent local magazine BN1 wrote a comprehensive review of Glitch/Giselle