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The Independent on Sunday, 28th March 2010

Ballet Black, Linbury Studio, London
Reviewed by Jenny Gilbert
Sunday 28 March 2010

Programming is a tricky business, and Ballet Black didn’t get it quite right either. Delivering its annual week-long (and sold-out) Linbury season, it impressed, yet again, with the verve and scope of its specially commissioned work. It’s just that there’s a bit too much of it. Come the time when founder-director Cassa Pancho has a budget for live music (and given her achievements to date, I don’t doubt that one day she will), a two-interval evening will be fine and dandy. Until then, this many-faceted troupe can shine perfectly well in a smaller box.

The best and freshest-looking item this year is Henri Oguike’s Da Gamba, a gloriously spirited response to a Bach cello suite from a choreographer making his first work on point. Some would argue against the very notion of black ballet. But until dancers of colour are properly represented in Britain’s big classical companies, this small beacon of excellence will have an inspirational role to play.