When night falls on Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum the landscape is transformed -- towering trees assume ominous forms, leaves rustle, bushes stir. It is the perfect setting, the Boston Ballet decided, to shoot a promotional spot for its season opener, a ghost-filled, romantic ballet set in medieval Germany. “When we were brainstorming ideas for our fall ballet, ‘Giselle,’ we knew our key scene was going to be the forest,” said Kristin Carr, the company’s director of creative services. “The main character, Giselle, dies of heartbreak and is buried deep in a forest haunted by Wilis -- ghostly apparitions of folklore, girls who have died betrayed by their faithless lovers on the eve of their weddings.”
The company was drawn to the Arboretum’s Tilia collection, a grove of sweet-scented lindens planted at the turn of the 19th century, but the space was attractive for other reasons, too. Carr said the dance company looks for opportunities to take the ballet out of the studio, creating engaging content by making use of Greater Boston’s landmarks.