The first half of this new double bill is Ingoma, which comes courtesy of company dancer Mthuthuzeli November.
As both a dancer and a choreographer, November is celebrated for his unique African style. Raised by a single mother in a small fruit farming town in South Africa’s Western Cape, November started dancing aged 15 with outreach programme Dance For All and was soon awarded a scholarship to attend the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.
He joined Ballet Black as First Year Apprentice in September 2015 and now dances with both Ballet Black in London and Cape Dance Company in Cape Town.
Ingoma (Song) is November’s first major UK work. It imagines the struggles of black South African miners in 1946 – the year 60,000 of them took strike action. November portrays this milestone moment in South Africa’s history through a fusion of ballet, African dance and singing.
Completing the double bill is a new work from the Italian choreographer, and founder of Protein Dance, Luca Silvestrini. Pitched as a light-hearted narrative ballet, this work promises to present Ballet Black’s dancers in an engaging and lively manner.
Ballet Black was founded in 2001 by the British-Trinidadian Royal Academy of Dance graduate Cassa Pancho to address her frustration with the lack of role models for aspiring black and Asian dancers.
Pancho was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2018 for her contribution to diversity in ballet. She has also recently collaborated with ballet retailer Freed of London to launch a range pointe shoes in tones to match the skin of dancers of colour.
While Pancho’s ultimate ambition of making her company redundant still seems a way off yet, advances in making ballet in the UK more integrated are occurring.
In the meantime, Ballet Black continues to thrive. The company’s previous three visits to the Barbican were sell out successes – we will not be surprised if this one is equally popular.
Age Guidance: 7+
Extras: Fri 15 Mar Post-show talk Free to same-day ticket holders
Sat 16 Mar, 5pm Dance class with Ballet Black for Barbican members
|What||Ballet Black Double Bill, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, E2CY 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
14 Mar 19 – 17 Mar 19, 19:45 Sun mat 15:00 Dur.: 1 hour 30 mins inc one interval
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican website|