The “Biennale de la Danse” in Lyon includes dancers from all over the world. Choreographer Robyn Orlin from South Africa lives in Berlin but her group “Moving into dance Mophatong” is from Johannesburg. Talking about the production she brought to Lyon, she said: “You have glimpses of beauty like a woman selling tomatoes… The way people talk to one another, the humanity between one another is beautiful.”
Pne of her dancers, Muzi Shili, explained her working method: “Before we perform, we get notes. And it’s new things. So you have to be on your feet all the time because she would change things now and five minutes before the show. And you’re expected to actually do them on stage without knowing whether they would work or whether you would be comfortably with them so you’ll always have to be on your feet.”
Dance fans can meet dancers and choreographers in the Café Danse in the Palais de Commerce.
Dada Masilo, another South African choreographer and dancer, talking about her production of Swan Lake, said: “I was very surprised to know that swans are homosexual and that Tschaikovsky was homosexual. So it just became the theme of the work and so I thought I don’t want to have two women fighting over a man. Why don’t a man and a woman fight over a man for a change just to shake things up and to give it a different twist.”
But she kept some classical elements: “They all wear tutus! I love tutus, I’ve got a big obsession with tutus, so I thought: Just put everyone in tutus! And they didn’t seem to mind. They love wearing their tutus.”
About the mix of classical ballet and African dancing, the choreographer said: “When we have a wedding like traditional African weddings at home, it’s crazy. People are singing and shouting. And then you get all the women that will come and give advice to the bride. So I really wanted to bring in these elements of traditional African weddings into this classical world.”
The biennale de la Danse in Lyon runs until the 30th of september.