Awards & Nominations

Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is a professional ballet company that celebrates dancers of Black and Asian descent. We are making a fundamental change in the diversity of classical ballet in Britain – on stage, behind the scenes, and among audiences and dance students. In the nineteen years since Ballet Black was founded (2001), we have worked to change the landscape of classical ballet through performances, our Junior School and our outreach programmes. We are one of the most prolific commissioners of new and critically acclaimed ballets in the UK, and have developed diverse dance audiences across the country. Ballet Black is also playing a role in advocating wider societal change through cutting-edge collaborations, including working to create the first UK made pointe shoes for Black, Brown and Asian dancers.

Our ultimate goal is to see a fundamental change in the number of Black and culturally diverse dancers in mainstream ballet companies, making our initial vision wonderfully unnecessary.

Read more about our progression over the past decade on our History page.
You can also read a more in-depth profile on our company founder and Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho MBE here.

Awards & Nominations

Olivier Award Nominations

  • 2020 (Winner) – Best New Dance Production – Ingoma by Mthuthuzeli November for Ballet Black at the Barbican & Royal Opera House – Linbury Theatre
  • 2014 (Shortlisted) Outstanding Achievement in Dance, Arthur Pita for his work A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Black British Theatre Awards

  • 2023 – Best Dance Production or Performance Award winner: Isabela Coracy for her role as Nina in Nina: By Whatever Means
  • 2023 – Best Choreographer or Movement Director Award winner: Mthuthuzeli November for Nina: By What Ever Means.
  • 2022 – Best Dance Production Award, 20th Anniversary Double Bill – winner
  • 2022 – Best Solo Dance Performance, Cira Robinson – winner
  • 2022 – Best Use of Technology for the film EIGHTFOLD – winner
  • 2022 – Best Costume Designer (Jessica Cabassa) for Say It Loud – winner
  • 2020 – Best Dance Production Award,  Ingoma by Ballet Black – winner

South Bank Sky Arts Awards (Best Dance Production)

  • 2023 Dance Award nominee for Say It Loud (Cassa Pancho)
  • 2022 Dance Award nominee for Then Or Now (Will Tuckett)
  • 2020 Dance Award nominee for Ingoma (Mthuthuzeli November)
  • 2015 Dance Award nominee for A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arthur Pita)

Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

  • 2023 Inaugural Best Mid-scale Company – shortlisted
  • 2022 Inaugural Best Mid-scale Company – winner
  • 2019 Best Independent Company – shortlisted
  • 2018 Best Independent Company – shortlisted
  • 2014 Best Independent Company – shortlisted
  • 2012 Best Independent Company – winner
  • 2009 Outstanding Company 2009 – winner

Choreographic Nominations

  • 2022 – The Waiting Game by Mthuthuzeli November – shortlisted
  • 2018  – The Suit by Cathy Marston – winner Best Classical Choreography – winner
  • 2014  – A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Arthur Pita – shortlisted
  • 2012 –  Storyville by Christopher Hampson – shortlisted

Other Nominations

Critics Circle National Dance Awards – Dancer nominations

Best Female Dancer

  • 2022 – Cira Robinson – shortlisted

Outstanding Female (classical)

  • 2013 – Cira Robinson – shortlisted
  • 2009 – Sara Kundi – shortlisted

Outstanding Male (classical)

  • 2018 – Jose Alves – Outstanding Male Classical Performance – winner

Emerging Artist Award

  • 2019 – Mthuthuzeli November (Choreographer, Ballet Black) – shortlisted

Lightning Design Award Nominations

  • 2018 – Knight of Illumination Award for Dance: David Plater for his design of Cathy Marston’s The Suit. – winner

Production Award Nominations

  • 2022 – UK Theatre Awards nomination for Achievement in Dance – Ballet Black for Will Tuckett’s Then Or Now.
  • 2018 – UK Theatre Awards nomination for Achievement in Dance – ‘Ballet Black for Cathy Marston’s The Suit, perfectly paired with Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘.

Cassa Pancho received an MBE in the 2013 New Years Honours list for services to ballet and in 2018 Cassa was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. NDA’s

Cassa Pancho was also named in the Arts section of the annual list of 100 influential Black Britons in the ‘Black excellence: The Powerlist 2023’. The lists aim is to celebrate the achievements of the most influential people of African, African Caribbean and African American heritage in the UK.