Award winning ‘Ballet Black’ take to the Oxford stage


Highly accredited dance company, Ballet Black are to return to the Oxford Playhouse on Friday 1 November 2019 with a triple bill of bold choreography.

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 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.

The dance group recently performed in the headline slot of Glastonbury with grime legend Stormzy on the Pyramid Stage.

The exciting programme contrasts original story telling in a lively showcase of three modern ballets, commissioned especially for Ballet Black.

‘Ingoma’ by company dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November, is a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing. This world premiere and Barbican co-commission portrays a milestone in South African history and imagines the struggles of black South African miners and their families in 1946 – when 60,000 of them took courageous strike action.

The second ballet is a revival of Martin Lawrance’s ‘Pendulum’, an intimate duo premiered in 2009, and the choreographer’s first work for the company.

Concluding with the world premiere of ‘CLICK!’, an original, up-beat piece by Scottish Ballet’s chorographer-in-residence Sophie Laplane.

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 seven international dancers of black and Asian descent.

Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder & Artistic Director said: “Our 2019 is a particularly exciting one for us, as we are able to re-stage Pendulum by Martin Lawrance and share it with a much wider audience than we had in 2009 when it was first created. We’ve also been able to commission a new work from Sophie Laplane, Choreographer-In-Residence at Scottish Ballet and a rising choreographic talent.

“In addition, I am really excited that we have been able to offer one of our own dancers, Mthuthuzeli November, a main stage commission. This is an extremely important aspect of Ballet Black: diversifying the world of British ballet – not only in the visible landscape on stage, but throughout the art form, including diverse choreographic voices telling stories from a new perspective.”

The entirely original repertoire covers a broad spectrum of ballet, from classical work to highly contemporary pieces. Since 2001, they have built a varied repertoire from the best emerging and established choreographers including, Shobana Jeyasingh, Will Tuckett, Richard Alston, Arthur Pita, Christopher Hampson, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa and Cathy Marston.

Tickets for Ballet Black at Oxford Playhouse start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at