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Dada Masilo’s GISELLE

Dada Masilo’s GISELLE

We are all to familiar with the story if Giselle, a peasant girl who dies from a broken heart after her lover betrays her. Then, upon the time of retribution, Giselle’s true love for him enables her to forgive him, sparing his life. Dada Masilo’s Giselle follows the same rough plot, but the similarities end there.

Dada, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was intrigued by the thought of a band of vengeful women. Her interpretation of Giselle is an altogether more menacing one. Gone are the etherial, graceful Wilis draped in white tulle we all know and love. Dada’s Wilis are blazen in deep red. Their dances are grounded, earthy, and intimidating. When they appear, there is no doubt upon their intention!

The choreography is heavily influenced by Dada’s South African heritage, with a contemporary twist and elements of ballet rolled into one. It could not be pigeonholed as a ballet like it’s name sake, however the classical training of some of the cast is easy to identify. It’s as though the story of Giselle has been adapted in a cultural format. This is what makes the production so real and raw. No make believe in this retelling, just a relatable account of the trials and tribulations of love.

There are moments that are uncomfortable to watch. Some due to sheer tension the story and dancers create, an others due to cultural differences, but Dada’s said “I want people to feel” and that intention has certainly been surpassed.

Dada Masilo’s Giselle is a dark retelling with a tribal influence, and cecelebrates the power of a woman. After all, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and this Giselle is certainly that!

The tour continues on from The Lowry, to Milton Keynes, Brighton and Canteebury. Details and tickets can be found on Dance Consortium website https://www.danceconsortium.com/touring/dada-masilo-giselle/tour-dates-and-venues/

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