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Ballet Black


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Five female dancers pose together on a grey background.

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The Guardian

Now in their 21st year, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is excited to present award-winning choreographers, Will Tuckett and Mthuthuzeli November in a double bill of new and original work.

Will Tuckett's Then Or Now, originally created in 2020, blends classical ballet, music and the poetry of Adrienne Rich to ask the question: in times like these, where do we belong?

Mthuthuzeli November
makes his third mainstage commission for the Company, Nina: By Whatever Means, a love letter to musician, performer and activist, Nina Simone, that combines ballet, jazz and the blues in a moving and inspiring piece of dance theatre.

Double Bill

Then or Now

Originally co-commissioned with the Barbican, London

Choreography: William Tuckett
Lighting: David Plater
Costume design: Yukiko Tsukamoto
Poetry: Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)
Music: Then Or Now - Variations on a theme by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704)
Performer: Daniel Pioro
Poetry recordings: Hafsah Bashir, Natasha Gordon & Michael Shaeffer

Nina: By Whatever Means

A Barbican co-commission

Choreography: Mthuthuzeli November
Lighting: David Plater
Costume design: Jessica Cabassa
Composers: Mandisi Dyantyis, Mthuthuzeli November, Nina Simone (1954-2002)
Featuring the voices of the Zolani Youth Choir

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Ballet Black makes a thoroughly convincing case that this is indeed the future of dance.


Check out behind the scenes of The Ballet Black Company in rehearsals for NINA: By Whatever Means.

Video credits

Dancers: The Ballet Black Company
Choreography: Mthuthuzeli November
Music from: Nina Simone, Mthuthuzeli November, Mandisi Dyantyis and The Zolani Youth Choir
Costume Design: Jessica Cabassa
Trailer by: Mthuthuzeli November