- The dancer from Soweto has reinvented the classic dance of ballet and given it a new lease on life
- Her style is a mixture of contemporary, African and classic ballet
- She dances barefoot which allows new forms of expression and new ways to tell old stories
Dada Masilo’s body is able move in ways that express her character's emotions. She dances barefoot, the whispered shuffles of her feet on the studio floor increase with speed as her contemporary dances style blends with African dance which is combined with ballet.
The fact that she dances without shoes breaks the tradition of ballet and allows for an entirely new interpretation of the classic dance.
Masilo started dancing when she was 12 and after watching Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake she fell in love with ballet. Being a young girl who was born in Soweto in 1985 the dream of learning to dance in a white middle-class suburb was a dream.
She refused to give up and as South Africa matured into a democracy so did her dancing style. She graduated from the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg and was one of the 30 students chosen to study at the exclusive Parts School in Brussels.
The experience taught Masilo a lot, she learned that choreography could unlock new stories in old tales. It was there that she recreated Swan Lake and reversed the characters, the lead female part was played by a man. essentially it was a tale of two male lovers caught in a homophobic world.
She has continued to reinvent classic ballet stories and has taken them across the world. She has received international acclaim in the process.
As a result, she has created what can only be described as a new genre. The slapping of her feet to Tchaikovsky has opened up new possibilities for the youth of South Africa to experience dance.
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