Gisele trained in physical theatre at the Central School of Speech
and Drama, where she was a founding member of the award-winning
theatre company SHUNT. She collaborated in the company’s early shows
before leaving to concentrate on her aerial work, remaining a director
on the Board until 2010. In 1999 she attended the Circus Space where
she trained in aerial skills, performing in the Millennium Dome
show during 2000. Since then she has been working as an aerialist,
musician and theatre maker.
In 2002 Gisele received the Jerwood Prize for Circus for her production
Out of Line, directed by Gemma Brockis, which explored the idea
of the line spatially, in movement and music, using rope, tightwire,
paper and voice.
In 2004, following a performance with the Dante
Quartet, she received funding from the Arts Council England to
research further into the crossover between the live music and
In 2006 she collaborated with Schubert Ensemble violinist
Simon Blendis to create a performance based on music by Bach and
several contemporary composers that had been commissioned by Simon
to commemorate the Bach 250th anniversary celebrations. The piece
was selected for the Firsts Festival at the Linbury Studios, Royal
Opera House, for which it was re-worked under the direction of
Lucy Bailey, and later performed at the Aldeburgh Music Fringe
Festival and the Speaker’s Banquet at Middle Temple Hall. Violinist
Marcus Beecham-Stevens has taken over from Simon Blendis and they
will continue to tour the work.
Alongside, Gisele has pursued her work in singing and composing. In 2004 she was invited to
perform one of her original songs at the International Spring
Festival for Foreigners - the Chinese equivalent of Eurovision!
- in Kunming, China, where she was awarded Bronze. The trip resulted
in a commission from BBC4 From Our Own Correspondent.
In 2005 she submitted an entry for a competition organised by the Beijing
Olympic Committee, for a theme tune for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
While the piece was not chosen, it led her to securing a contract
with Carlin Music Publishing in 2006 for an album of songs marking
the Beijing Olympic Games. Working with three co-writers she completed
the album in 2007 and later that year formed FUXIAN, the first
Chinese-Western fusion band outside Asia. The group performed
at several London venues including at the Chinese New Year celebrations
in Trafalgar Square in 2008 in front of an audience of 35,000.
In 2007 Gisele was also invited to work as Chinese music advisor
to composer Nitin Sawhney and choreographer Akram Khan for the
production Bahok ,a collaboration with the China State Ballet.
In 2008 Gisele completed the LEM (Laboratoire d'Etude du Mouvement)
at L'Ecole Jacque Lecoq in Paris. In 2009 she was awarded
Lauréat at the Résidence au Centre International des
Récollets, Paris, where she continued her collaboration of
aerial work and music with Theatre de Complicite founder member
Jozef Houben, collaborating with four Baroque musicians on a performance
installation on the form and dynamic of music in space. The piece
was shortlisted for the ROH Linbury Studio Festival of Firsts and
also for the Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe competition in 2010.
In 2011 she received a commission from the LSO and SoundUK to
collaborate with violinist Alexander Balenescu and accordionist
Lina Petrova; the performance was presented to a sellout audience
at LSO St Lukes in February.
Prior to beginning her performance work, Gisele studied Chinese
at the University of Cambridge and Islamic and Asian Art History
at SOAS, London. She also qualified as an Equity Analyst in the
City where she worked for four years, specialising in Asian stockmarkets.
In addition to developing her own work, Gisele has worked with
the following companies and artists:
SHUNT /Simon McBurney/ Théâtre de Complicité/ Lucy Bailey/ Joz
Houben/ Akram Khan/Nitin Sawhney/ Kosmos Ensemble/ John Caird/ F/Z
Productions/ Scarabeus/ Clod Ensemble/ Isabel Rocamora/ Dante Quartet/
Abigail Yeates/ Knitting Company/ Gandini Jugglers/ London Symphony Orchestra