Once again, never hindered by the smaller size of their company, Ballet Black has proved themselves to be one of the true and best innovators in the dance world. If there was ever any worry that ballet has become so antiquated that it risks making itself irrelevant or obsolete, Cassa Pancho’s brilliant troupe will restore your faith in the longevity of one of theatre’s oldest surviving traditions.
Even before the ballet started I was already seeing the effect of an all-PoC cast. I saw more black and Asian audience members than I have ever seen before at a ballet. It was exhilarating and also threw every other ballet audience I have been a part of into stark contrast.
The diversity of the two pieces demonstrate that ballet can be anything it wants to be: classical, powerful, seductive, edgy, contemporary or even laugh out loud funny and Ballet Black does them all justice. Who knew Shakespeare could be such incredible fun?
Ballet Black is a dance company with a difference. For starters, they have recently collaborated on a new brown satin ballet shoe, which – unbelievably – wasn’t available for dancers of colour until now. And aside from their cultural impact as an award-winning, neo-classical ballet company made up of international dancers of black and Asian descent, their performances are completely mesmerising.
In a touring double bill of drama and wit, Ballet Black (founded in 2001), a company of seven, punches above its weight. Having reviewed the company three consecutive years in a row, I missed this bill at the Barbican in March and, lo, here’s a lucky chance to catch up with it in Kingston.
Ballet Black remind us powerfully that in these times of increasing division and intolerance talent knows no boundaries of race or gender. They show us that we need to challenge those who seek to thwart ambition on false grounds of race, gender or orientation and they help us to celebrate the joyous talent and skills of this group of dancers…
Ballet Black may be a small company — there are only seven dancers — but its influence is far greater than its size…Times are changing, albeit slowly, and the Ballet Black dancers show children from different ethnic backgrounds that ballet is something they can seriously consider as a career.
It’s a production which typifies what Ballet Black is all about. Founded to provide roles for black and Asian dancers, it blends traditional ballet’s exacting discipline and contemporary dance’s inventiveness with virtuosity and elegance.
2018 Autumn Double Bill UK Tour Below is a synopsis of the current programme. The suggested age rating of this programme is 12+ The Suit Director/Choreographer: Cathy Marston As part of Ballet Black’s latest bill, Cathy Marston, renowned for her expressive and beautifully crafted work, choreographs a new narrative ballet…