Dada Masilo continues to reinvent the classical repertoire. After her stunning versions of Swan Lake or Carmen, the gifted choreographer from Johannesburg revisits this time Giselle, one of the great romantic ballets of the nineteenth century. In the original libretto, written by Théophile Gautier, a young peasant girl perishes at the betrayal of her lover, a disguised aristocrat, but returns from the dead to protect him from the vengeful anger of the Wilis, ghosts of abandoned women. No pardon at Dada Masilo: with traditional African spirits, his Giselle will suffer grief and revenge, here synonymous with liberation. African percussions and vocals come to color the original score of Adolphe Adam, reviewed by the South African composer Philip Miller. A rereading anchored in the present, theatrical and percussive time.
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
First performed at the Paris Opéra on 28 June 1841 as a two-act "ballet-pantomime" and hailed by ballet historians as the oldest surviving exampl of a ballet that owes its origins to the work of a global collective. As the archetypal Romantic ballet, Giselle revolves aroun the traditional motif of the love that triumphs over death, a motif that can be traced back to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and that was to culminate in the later 19th century in the music dramas of Wagner. The plot, in outline, is as follows. Giselle is an innocent and naïve young girl from the country.
Sources : livret ARTHAUS Musik
Born in 1986 in Soweto, a Johannesburg township, Dada Masilo trained primarily at the Dance Factory in Newton, the cultural district of Johannesburg, as well as at the National School of Art (Johannesburg) and at the Jazzart Dance Theater, Cape Town. In 2005, she began two years of training at PARTS (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker in Brussels, where she discovered, among other things, the works of Trisha Brown and Pina Bausch, and created “The World, My Butt and other big round things”.
Back in South Africa, she created “Love and other four letter words” in 2008, a meditation on the AIDS pandemic, and began her work of reinterpreting traditional ballets (“Romeo and Juliette” in 2008, “Carmen” in 2009), whose codes she adopts and then distorts, by mixing aesthetics with humour. In 2011, she was awarded the Standard Bank Young Award, one of the South-African most famous dance prizes, while the South African daily newspaper The Star recognised her work “The Bitter end of Rosemary” by listing it as one of the hundred greatest successes of the year: in this work she investigates the character of Ophelia, from “Hamlet”, by giving the character's madness great vulnerability. This solo was Masilo's first piece to be performed in France, at the Anticodes Festival in Brest in March and at the Fragile Danse Festival at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in November 2011. Invited to the Lyon Dance Biennial in 2012, she performed “Swan Lake”, which was also widely performed in France in 2013 and 2014.
On the programme at all the festivals in South Africa, in particular the famous Dance Umbrella festival, Dada Masilo's shows also toured Tanzania, Mali, Mexico, Israel, and Europe (Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France… ) and met with both critical and public acclaim.
She has collaborated with many famous names on the South African arts scene. In 2013, for example, she collaborated on “Refuse the hour” with the visual artist and director William Kentridge, commissioned and danced “In creation” with the choreographer Gregory Maqoma as part of the Sujet à vif in Avignon, and “Deep night” with P. J. Sabbagha and his collective The Forgotten Angle. She also trains young dancers and regularly hosts workshops in the United States.
Since returning late 2006, she has taught for Dance Factory Youth.
In 2012 Masilo undertook a residency at Denison University, Granville, Ohio, where at the Swasey Chapel, she performed a programme of solos from her repertoire.
Source: Dada Masilo
Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).
During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc).
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.
From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.
Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of Numeridanse.tv, an online international video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.
Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website
More information: fabione.fr
Choreography : Dada Masilo
Original music : Philip Miller
Lights : Suzette le Sueur
Costumes : Donker Nag Helder Dag, Those Two Lifestyle
Other collaborations : William Kentridge (dessins)
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory. Coproduction Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work, Hopkins Center- Dartmouth College, Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2018, Sadler’s Wells - Londres, La Bâtie / Festival de Genève
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Fabien Plasson, 2018
When reality breaks in
Dance out loud
Dance and performance
Here is a sample of extracts illustrating burlesque figures in Performances.
Panorama of different artistic collaborations, from « couples » of choreographers to creations involving musicians or plasticians
A Rite of Passage
Discover how the notion of ritual makes sense in various dances through these extracts.
Charles Picq, dance director
Presentation of Pantomimes in the different types of dance.
Western classical dance enters the modernity of the 20th century: The Ballets russes and the Ballets suédois
If the 19th century is that of romanticism, the entry into the new century is synonymous of modernity! It was a few decades later that it would be assigned, a posteriori, the name of “neo-classical”.
les ballets C de la B and the aesthetic of reality
The American origins of modern dance: [1930-1950] from the expressive to the abstract
Meeting with literature
Collaboration between a choreographer and a writer can lead to the emergence of a large number of combinations. If sometimes the choreographer creates his dance around the work of an author, the writer can also choose dance as the subject of his text.
Body and conflicts
A look on the bonds which appear to emerge between the dancing body and the world considered as a living organism.
[1930-1960]: Neoclassicism in Europe and the United States, entirely in tune with the times
A Numeridanse Story
Why do I dance ?
The committed artist
In all the arts and here especially in dance, the artist sometimes creates to defend a cause, to denounce a fact, to disturb, to shock. Here is a panorama of some "committed" choreographic creations.
Modern Dance and Its American Roots [1900-1930] From Free Dance to Modern Dance
At the dawn of the 20th century, in a rapidly changing West, a new dance appeared: Modern Dance. In the United States as in Europe, modern trends emerge simultaneously and intertwine in thier development. Let's dive into the beginnings of American modern dance!
40 years of dance and music
Female / male
A walk between different conceptions and receptions of genres in different styles and eras of dance.