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  • Writer's pictureAlysa Leung

The sacrifice- Dada Masilo / The Dance Factory (ZA) (Jul 30, 2022)

photos from offical website

Burgtheater has been considered one of the most important theatres in Europe and the largest German-speaking spoken theatre. By observation, the audience heading there is usually well-dressed. Watching the theatre is a gala in their life. Like many other theatres, most of them are middle-class, mostly white people. As part of the ImPulsTanz Classic, The Sacrifice is an African version of Rite of Spring. The group’s presence on stage is a statement already.

The choreographer, Dada Masilo, is a South African master especially in translating dance classic such as Swan Lake, and Carmen into African contexts. She is dedicated to introducing new cultural dimensions to the existing pieces and establishing the voice of Africans in the contemporary dance world. In The Sacrifice, Masilo adapted the powerful Tswana dance from Botswana to create tensions. She also made good use of emotional rhythms through the four live musicians. The mix-use of live-opera singers, African percussion, and violin has created another level of artistic language in African dance in the European stage.

A Haiti professor shared that for a long time African dance has been performed expressively and ethically. However, for Masilo’s piece, she is the first one to put the dance in a theatre context. This is a game changer. As a spectator, it is very strong and moving; as Masilo expected, it is an African version of The Rite of Spring. The cultural hybridity in dance moves, cinematography and music has created a strong composition for the ethnic, and cultural story. The story itself is simple and clear: A young girl is selected to be sacrificed. But the experience itself brings lots of imagination to everyone’s mind. At least, it is very touching to me.


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