Bachtrack, 20th March 2019

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Ballet Black: Pendulum / CLICK! / INGOMA at the Barbican
By Graham Watts, 20 March 2019

Opening its eighteenth season (how is that possible?), Cassa Pancho’s chamber ballet ensemble has now clocked up 45 original commissions and last year’s newbie, The Suit by Cathy Marston, garnered two gongs in the recent UK National Dance Awards (equaling the number of awards won by both The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet). From being a much-needed prick on the conscience of an art form that was far from diverse, Ballet Black is now very much part of the Establishment.

Year after year, the company showcases new ballets by well-known guest choreographers, but for the first time, the main premiere comes from within. Mthuthuzeli November joined Ballet Black as an apprentice dancer, in 2015, becoming a junior artist in the following year. He has minimal previous form as a choreographer and so Ingoma was a significant display of trust by Pancho, taking a risk that the young choreographer met with dignity in a work that showed great promise tempered by a need for greater variation in mood and momentum.

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