In Events

Image by Tristram Kenton

The award-winning South African choreographer Dada Masilo’s re-imagining of Giselle was a huge hit when it came to Bradford in 2019. On Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 March 2023, Masilo and her company of eleven incredible dancers return to the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford with her latest work The Sacrifice, inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s monumental score and Pina Bausch’s seminal The Rite of Spring.

Soweto-born Masilo has attracted much attention for fusing different dance forms and her retelling of classic stories. She mines her cultural background to create a choreographic style unlike any other. For The Sacrifice, combining the European heritage of The Rite of Spring with the uniquely rhythmic and expressive movements of Tswana, the traditional dance of Botswana, often used in storytelling and in healing ceremonies. At the piece’s heart is the epic struggle of the sacrificial victim, danced by Masilo herself.

Masilo’s The Sacrifice questions the evil that humans do to each other and explores the power of community to bring about change.

Masilo says: “I wanted to explore ritual, what sacrifice meant to the Tswana people then and what it means now. Narrative is very important to me. I wanted to create a story that is deeper than a chosen maiden dancing herself to death.”

The all-South African cast deliver an exhilarating performance. Eleven spectacular dancers hold the stage with their earthy rooted mix of traditional Tswana moves and contemporary dance. They perform to an original score composed by violinist Leroy Mapholo, pianist Nathi Shongwe and opera and gospel choir singer Ann Masina who plays a powerful goddess figure. Joined by percussionist Mpho Mothiba, the musicians play live on stage, interacting with the dancers to powerful, sometimes humorous, effect.

The dancers are Dada Masilo, Leorate Dibatana, Lwando Dutyulwa, Lehlohonolo Madise, Songezo Mcilizeli, Steven Mokone, Refiloe Mogoge, Thandiwe Mqokeli, Thuso Lobeko, Eutychia Rakaki and Tshepo Zasekhaya. Costumes are by David Hutt with lighting and projections by Suzette le Sueur.

Dance Consortium is a group of 18 large-scale theatres with a mission to bring the best international dance to stages across the UK and Ireland.

Post-show In Conversation with Dada Masilo and company members on Tuesday 14 March (free to ticket holders).

65 minutes (no interval). Partial nudity. Advised age range: 12+

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 March 2023 7.30pm

*Tickets £29.50 - £21.50

Call the Box Office on 01274 432000 or visit *All prices shown include booking fees but are subject to postage charge if applicable.

Bradford Theatres’ usual terms and conditions apply


Dada Masilo - The Sacrifice
A group of dancers on a stage, in front of a backdrop of trees.

South Africa’s award-winning Dada Masilo wowed critics and audiences with her stunning re-imagining of Giselle in 2019. Now back by popular demand, Masilo and her company of incredible dancers return with the UK premiere of The Sacrifice. Featuring live music on stage, The Sacrifice is inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, combining the European heritage of this monumental piece of music with the uniquely rhythmic and expressive movements of ‘Tswana’, the traditional dance of Botswana. Age guidance 12+. Contains partial nudity.

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