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The Dance Insider & Arts Voyager seek a city anywhere in the world to sponsor the magazine, in return for which the magazine will be based in and promote the arts and cultural scene of that city. For details please contact editor & publisher Paul Ben-Itzak.


The Dance Insider Gallery, 1-22: Breaking the codes
A South African 'Swan' Alights in Southwest France

A scene from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photograph copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Text copyright 2014 Paul Ben-Itzak

Context is everything: To a Western audience inured to gender role reversal by Matthew Bourne's Queer "Swan Lake," there's nothing novel about Dada Masilo's adorning a few men in tutus for her South African spin on the Tchaikovsky classic, opening at Perigueux's Odyssey theater in southwest France January 23. A bit more daring in the "white" ballet universe may be that the corps de ballet is black -- it was only two generations ago that the Hispanic-American Evelyn Cisneros was welcomed to the corps at San Francisco Ballet by being ordered to douse her brown skin with pancake make-up. But from a country whose last president's AIDS-denial had mortal consequences for Masilo's compatriots, and a continent one of whose largest countries, Nigeria, last week criminalized assembly by gay rights groups, Masilo's tackling of homophobia and AIDs is courageous. Whether the socio-politics overpowers the art is another question. If you can't make the performance, herewith a gallery of photographs by John Hogg.


A scene from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photograph copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.


A scene from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photograph copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.


Scenes from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photography copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.


A scene from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photograph copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.


A scene from Dada Masilo's version of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Photograph copyright John Hogg and courtesy Odyssey Theater.


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