Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black to returns to The Linbury Theatre


The hugely popular Ballet Black is back with a mixed bill full of lyrical contrasts and beautiful movement – dance so thrilling, imaginative and rich that it packs the auditorium every time.

For her latest programme, Artistic Director Cassa Pancho brings us two new and original works. The Royal Ballet’s Olivier Award-winning choreographer, Will Tuckett blends classical ballet, poetry and music to explore ideas of home and belonging in Then Or Now, while Olivier Award-winning choreographer Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game.

Ballet Black is transforming the dance landscape by giving a platform to artists of Black and Asian descent as well as to new and established choreographic voices whose unexpected stories and themes come from the heart to resonate with modern audiences.  Founded in 2001, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is an award-winning, neo-classical ballet company, dedicated to diversifying classical ballet. The company is made up of eight international dancers of Black and Asian descent. 

Cassa Pancho, Founder and Artistic Director, said, “We’ve are so excited to finally bring this double bill to the stage. Although the themes of both ballets were relevant when we began creating them in 2019, the pandemic and the latest iteration of the Black Lives Matter movement have made the themes we explore even more resonant. We hope that our audience will feel confident to return to live events, because we cannot wait to show them what we’ve created. The evening is thought-provoking, moving and uplifting.”

The entirely original repertoire covers a broad spectrum of ballet, from classical work to highly contemporary pieces. Since 2001, Pancho has built a varied repertoire from the best emerging and established choreographers including Sophie Laplane, Mark Bruce, Richard Alston, Arthur Pita, Christopher Hampson, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa and Cathy Marston. 

Ballet Black has achieved great success and garnered numerous awards, including the 2012 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Company, and further nominations in 2014 and 2018. In 2018, the Company was nominated for a UK Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and won Outstanding Classical Dancer (for Senior Artist, José Alves) and Best Classical Choreography (for The Suit, Cathy Marston) at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. More recently, the Company won Best Dance Production at both the Black British Theatre Awards and the Olivier Awards for Mthuthuzeli November’s ballet, Ingoma. Artistic Director Cassa Pancho and Senior Artist Cira Robinson collaborated with renowned pointe shoe manufacturer Freed of London to create two new shades of pointe shoes in Ballet Brown and Ballet Bronze.