Valley Performing Arts Center

S African Choreographer Dada Masilo’s Giselle

Thursday, April 12, 2018



Thursday, April 12, 2018


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


S African Choreographer Dada Masilo’s Giselle


The Wallis
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA


Acclaimed South African choreographer Dada Masilo returns to Los Angeles to make her Wallis debut with her renowned dance troupe from Johannesburg with three performances of Masilo’s distinctive reinterpretation of Giselle, which fuses classical ballet and contemporary dance techniques with African dance steps to create a vivid, unconventional and fast-paced version of the classic ballet, from Thursday, April 12 through Saturday, April 14, 2018, 7:30 pm, at The Wallis’s Bram Goldsmith Theater. A post-performance talk-back with the artist will take place Thursday, April 12.

Set in rural South Africa, Masilo’s work explores African rituals through the fate of a young girl, who dies of a broken heart after discovering that her lover is betrothed to another. She cannot rest in peace and is transformed into a “wili,” a spirit with a desire to dance and seek revenge. The score, by South African composer and sound artist Philip Miller, features vocals, African drums, cello, violin and harp and also references Adolphe Adam’s original ballet score. Giselle was co-commissioned by The Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work; the Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College; la Biennale de la danse de Lyon 2018; and Sadler’s Wells, London. It was premiered at DansensHus in Oslo, Norway, on May 4, 2017. The performance contains adult material and partial nudity.

According to Masilo, "In this Giselle, I aimed to create a work that is not about forgiveness, but rather is about love, deceit, betrayal, anger and heartbreak. I strove to create new movement vocabulary and to push myself in terms of story-telling. In the traditional ballet, there is a clear narrative, but the characters are somewhat two dimensional. I wanted to go much deeper."

“This ground-breaking presentation illustrates The Wallis’s commitment to showcasing international artists of the highest caliber who push artistic boundaries in compelling and fantastic ways,” says The Wallis’s Artistic Director Paul Crewes.

Masilo, born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, began formal dance training at age 11, and, at age 19, was accepted as a student at the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios in Brussels, where she remained for two years. She returned to South Africa and was awarded the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Dance in 2008. Three commissions from the National Arts Festival resulted in her reinterpretations of Romeo and Juliet (2008), Carmen (2009) and Swan Lake (2010), which have stunned audiences around the globe. In 2016, she staged and performed her Swan Lake in Canada and the US, including New York’s Joyce Theater. Subsequently, she was nominated for a Bessie award and returned to New York to stage her Spring at City Center and create a gallery work to accompany Romare Bearden’s Bayou series that was performed at the DC Moore Gallery.

Single tickets for Dada Masilo’s Giselle are now available for $45 - $125. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

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