Utterly, wonderfully changed

2010-09-20 00:00

THERE were probably purists who came out of the theatre after seeing brilliant dancer/choreographer Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake feeling a bit wobbly.

This is not the trad version. Tchaikovsky’s haunting music is there, some of it, and there are tutus on the blokes as well as the girls. But other things are changed — utterly.

And wonderfully.

Swan Lake opens with a quick rundown on the absurdities of ballet — why men do the “virility splits”, the problems of the girls who never get the guy and so on. They could have added the unusual world that ballet inhabits, where women turn into swans.

So, when you think about it, Masilo’s Swan Lake, where Prince Siegfried fancies Odile rather than the flirtatious Odette, danced by Masilo, because Odile is a bloke, is a more realistic outcome. Masilo is not afraid to use Swan Lake as a vehicle to explore sexuality, or the boundaries between Africa and Europe.

Her stage presence is extraordinary, holding the eye wherever she is. She has combined classical ballet with contemporary dance — the African wedding scene is a splendid example. There are laughs at the expense of tradition, but not laughs of disrespect. Just a reminder that it doesn’t all have to be taken too seriously.

And in the final scene, Odette’s agonising grief is as moving as you will ever see on a ballet stage.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.