Cassa Pancho – interview Ballet Black: HEROES | Double Bill

Interview by: Christina Nicole
Published: Tuesday 14 May 2024, 16:00pm

Now in their 22nd year, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black return to the Barbican with a new double bill, Ballet Black: HEROES.

Award-winning choreographer, Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game, his exciting and energetic work about the meaning of life, originally created in 2020, and infused with a dynamic soundtrack featuring the voices of the Ballet Black artists.

The double bill is completed by Sophie Laplane, the Franco-British artist and Choreographer in Residence at Scottish Ballet, who creates a new piece for Ballet Black, If At First.  If At First explores a more subtle heroism, a quieter triumph over adversity, in a struggle that unites us all. Humanity, heroism, and self-acceptance combine in this celebratory and original piece.

Ballet Black has transformed the landscape of British ballet, creating a prominent platform for dancers and artists of Black and Asian descent, as well as establishing a new canon of ballet repertoire that resonates with audiences around the world.

Cassa Pancho MBE is of Trinidadian and British parents. Cassa founded Ballet Black in 2001 after graduating from professional dance training and was one of the first dancers and choreographers in the Company. Her initial goal was to provide role models to young, aspiring Black and Asian dancers. A year later, she opened the BB Junior School in Shepherd’s Bush. Cassa is a graduate of the 2009 National Theatre cultural leadership programme, Step Change. Since starting the Company, she has commissioned work from a wide range of choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Richard Alston, Sophie Laplane, Javier de Frutos, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Shobana Jeyasingh, Henri Oguike, Arthur Pita, Will Tuckett and Mthuthuzeli November.

Need to know
Ballet Black: HEROES | Double Bill –
The Waiting Game and If At First 2024 tour:

  • The Barbican from 15 – 19 May 2024.
  • Birmingham Rep: 13 – 14 June
  • Festival Theatre Edinburgh: 18 June
  • York Theatre Royal: 28 June
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East: 23-26 Oct
  • The Lowry: 20-21 Nov

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Find out more about Ballet Black