Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black returns to The Linbury Theater

The hugely popular Ballet Black is back with a mixed bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement – dance so exciting, imaginative and rich that it packs in the auditorium every time.

For his latest program, Artistic Director Cassa Pancho brings us two new and original works. Royal Ballet’s Olivier award-winning choreographer, Will Tuckett, mixes classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging to Then or Now, while Olivier award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November considers the purpose of life in The Waiting Game.

Ballet Black transforms the dance landscape by providing a platform for artists of black and Asian descent as well as for new and established choreographic voices whose unexpected stories and themes come from the heart to resonate with modern audiences. Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black was founded in 2001 and is an award-winning, neoclassical ballet company, dedicated to diversifying classical ballet. The company consists of eight international dancers of black and Asian descent.

Cassa Pancho, founder and artistic director, said: “We are so excited to finally bring this double bill to the stage. While the themes for both ballets were relevant when we began creating them in 2019, the pandemic and the recent iteration of the Black Lives Matter movement have made the themes we explore even more resonant. We hope our audiences will feel safe returning to live events because we can not wait to show them what we’ve created. The evening is thoughtful, moving and uplifting. ”

The completely original repertoire covers a wide range of ballet, from classical work to highly contemporary works. Since 2001, Pancho has built up a varied repertoire of the best new and established choreographers, including Sophie Laplane, Mark Bruce, Richard Alston, Arthur Pita, Christopher Hampson, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa and Cathy Marston.

Ballet Black has achieved great success and won several awards, including the 2012 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Company, and further nominations in 2014 and 2018. In 2018, the company was nominated for a British Theater Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance and won the Outstanding Classical Dancer (for Senior Artist, José Alves) and Best Classical Choreography (for The Suit, Cathy Marston) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Recently, the company won Best Dance Production at both the Black British Theater Awards and the Olivier Awards for Mthuthuzeli November’s ballet, Ingoma. Artistic director Cassa Pancho and senior artist Cira Robinson collaborated with the famous manufacturer of pointe shoes Freed of London to create two new shades of pointe shoes in Ballet Brown and Ballet Bronze.

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