The Dance Factory

In Dada Masilo’s Swan Lake, choreography by Dada Masilo. Born into poverty in a South African township, Dada Mailo was discovered at the age of 13 after her street dance troupe performed at the Dance Factory school in Johannesburg. The director of the Factory recognised and nurtured Masilo's talent and originality, and today Masilo is the artist-in-residence at the school. She is currently on tour with the company performing her unconventional Swan Lake that turns gender and racial stereotypes on their heads. Masilo’s reworking of the classics have shocked and captivated her audiences nearly as much as her distinctive, astonishingly quick and often jarring fusion of African dance and classical ballet. Reviewing Masilo’s rendition of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet in which the male dancers join the women in wearing tutus and Odile is played by a man, one critic described it as "agonizingly beautiful ... an African homophobe's worst nightmare and a dance lover's delight." For Ravenna Festival, tel. 0544249244, www.ravennafestival.org.

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