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This edition of Esplanade’s da:ns festival will be their biggest yet

More than 70 performance and activities to check out

By Adam Kerr | Oct 03, 2017

  • This edition of Esplanade’s da:ns festival will be their biggest yet
    Dada Masilo's "Swan Lake". Photo credit: John Hogg

At its core, dance is a performance art that yearns to tell a story or idea, or express a certain emotion through elegant rhythmic movements. While most of us would default to the tapping of our feet, throwing our hands in the air or doing a little jiggle when we hear our favorite songs, these guys are known to turn the whole thing into a visual spectacle of choreographed wonder.

This year, Esplanade celebrates dancers, dancemakers and the form itself in its 12th annual da:ns festival—its biggest yet—on Oct 20-29, boasting seven ticketed productions, 75 workshops and masterclasses and more than 70 free performances and activities to check out. Just like previous years, the organizers have invited a couple of renowned choreographers to present their boundary-pushing works.

South African dancemaker Dada Masilo yearned to perform the great conventional classical ballets of the western world, which were often limited to particular body types. But she found her own unique style, which fused ballet, contemporary and African dance moves. For the festival, she’s bringing her best-known production to Esplanade. Her interpretation of Swan Lake is both poignant and funny and encompasses the classic story that we have all grown to love with a twist that reflects issues of prejudice and freedom. Between pirouettes and arabesques, you'll also see stomping bare feet and swaying hips to the soundtrack by Tchaikovsky, Steve Reich and Arvo Part.

The festival will also be featuring renowned French artist Benjamin Millepied, an illustrious dancer who was once a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet and completed a short stint as Artistic Director of the Paris Opera Ballet. He was also responsible for choreographing the dance segments for Darren Aronofsky's 2010 Black Swan. For da:ns, his company L.A. Dance Project will be presenting four different works in one night.

More info here.

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