The Sacrifice

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The 2022 archive

Dada Masilo


A reflection of Dada Masilo’s Botswana heritage, The Sacrifice explores the pain humanity inflicts on itself. Is that really necessary for change?

The Sacrifice, Dada Masilo, 2022 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


With The Sacrifice, choreographer Dada Masilo explores the minimalism and animality of Tswana dance through the lens of Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of spring. For the choreographer, who grew up in South Africa in a xhosa environment, the question wasn’t just to bring together different dances, as she usually does, but to explore her own origins and to work on markers of identity: collective chants, rites, and beyond that, the desire for sacrifice. “To ask something of the ancestors, you have to be able to give something in return.” If The Sacrifice is the reflection of her Motswana heritage, it is first and foremost an exploration of the pain and suffering humans can inflict on each other. It that really necessary for change? What must we sacrifice? How can we start again differently? On the stage, four musicians et ten dancers form a community whose humour and rites make cruelty just bearable.


With Sinazo Bokolo, Lwando Dutyulwa, Thuso Lobeko, Dada Masilo, Refiloe Mogoje, Steven Mokone, Thandiwe Mqokeli, Kyle Rossouw, Lebo Seodigeng, Tshepo Zasekhaya
And the musicians Tlale Makhene, Leroy Mapholo, Ann Masina, Nathi Shongwe

Choreography Dada Masilo
Music Tlale Makhene, Leroy Mapholo, Ann Masina, Nathi Shongwe
Costumes David Hutt


Production  The Dance Factory (Johannesburg)
A commission by The Prince Claus Fund Next Generation Award 2018 (Netherland), The Joyce Theatre (New York), Foundation’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work (USA)
With the support of Bühnen Köln/Tanz Köln, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen GmbH (Germany), Maison de la Danse (Lyon), La Villette (Paris)
In partnership with France Médias Monde

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