Dance - Performance - Music

Dada Masilo’s HAMLET will feature recent Bessie Award Winning Actor, Albert Khoza as Gertrude; Ann Masina (vocals), Leroy Mapholo (violin) and Mpho Mothiba (percussion); in addition to newcomer Aphiwe Dike as Hamlet, Dada Masilo as Ophelia and ten dancers of the company.

Within the play, Masilo has identified themes that will bring clarity to the audience and drive the action. Amongst the themes are: ‘things are not what they seem’, ‘people say what they do not mean’ and betrayal: old Hamlet by his brother; Ophelia by Hamlet; Gertrude, of her husband’s memory; Hamlet by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Polonius.

Masilo invariably employs androgyny and gender fluidity in her works. In Shakespeare’s time, men and boys played women’s roles, but here, some women will also play men’s roles.

Masilo’s task as choreographer is to transform Shakespeare’s wordiest play into a contemporary and universally understood piece of theatre, utilizing dance, music and text. In Shakespeare’s play, much of the context is known in retrospect through soliloquys and conversations. In this work, the context and relationships will be made clear early on, eliminating the need for so many, many words!

On initial reading of the text, Masilo found much of it very amusing: the spying and intrigue, the chaos. She says: ‘Hamlet is a dark work, but within that, there is dark humour’. She is also intent on creating a work of elegance with regards to costumes and movement, looking at how royalty and retinue would bear themselves within a court situation.

Her HAMLET is set in urban South Africa.

The music will be acoustic. A nod to the music of Shakespeare’s time, whilst echoing the time and place of creation.


Duration : 60 - 70 minutes


  • 2024-07-23 00:00:00 2024-07-23 00:00:00 - ImPulsTanz, Vienna - Austria
  • 2024-07-25 00:00:00 2024-07-26 00:00:00 - ImPulsTanz, Vienna - Austria
  • 2024-10-03 00:00:00 2024-10-05 00:00:00 - De Singel, Antwerp - Belgium


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Dada Masilo's HAMLET

Choreographer : Dada Masilo

Composers : Leroy Mapholo, Ann Masina, Mpho Mothiba

Actors : Aphiwe Dike, Albert Khoza

Dancers : Dada Masilo, Sinazo Bokolo, Julia Burnham, Lehlohonolo Madise, Thandiwe Mqokeli, Eutychia Rakaki, Leorate Dibatana, Thuso Lobeko, Songezo Mcilizeli, Steven Mokone, Tshepo Zasekhaya.

Musicians: Leroy Mapholo, Ann Masina/Khayakazi Madlala, Mpho Mothiba   

Acting Coach : Dorothy Ann Gould

photo © John Hogg