Financial Times, March 18th 2019

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Ballet Black triple bill by Louise Levene

MARCH 18, 2019

Fury and frustration with deceptively simple means Ignoma tackles the 1946 South African miners’ strike and the police brutality that suppressed it

Varied programming and a loyal following guaranteed Ballet Black a sellout four night run at the Barbican last week, but last year’s tragicomic double bill by seasoned dancemakers Cathy Marston and Arthur Pita has proved a tough act to follow. Martin Lawrance’s 2009 Pendulum, danced by Sayaka Ichikawa and Mthuthuzeli November, is a combative pas de deux in which classical bravura steps are delivered tit-for-tat in a nine-minute dance-off. There are fouettés for Ichikawa and grandes pirouettes for her partner — but Lawrance subverts the gala format with an absence of pointe shoes and a doggedly un-balletic choice of score. His firecracker steps keep time with a tape of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music, a 1968 experiment originally achieved by setting microphones swinging over speakers and recording the resulting phased feedback. Unfortunately Ballet Black do not have the funds for a live performance, and the thumping rhythms are not an easy listen without the visuals…

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