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Double Bill

Ballet Black

a dancer on stage

Audiences just can’t resist the ‘joyously unpredictable’ (Guardian) programmes danced by Ballet Black, back for their third consecutive year here following two sell-out seasons.

Led by Artistic Director Cassa Pancho, this company celebrates dancers of black and Asian descent, showcasing technique, precision and grace in specially commissioned pieces.

As part of the Barbican’s latest bill, Cathy Marston, renowned for her expressive and beautifully crafted work, choreographs a new narrative ballet for all of Ballet Black’s artists, based on Can Themba’s South African fable The Suit.

Completing the evening is Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream, a heady piece of dance-theatre for which the Portuguese choreographer earned an Olivier nomination following its premiere. Described as a ‘sexy, cheeky frolic’ by, the production mixes the classical and contemporary to distil the essence of Shakespeare’s comedy, unfolding to an eclectic soundtrack that includes Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand and Yma Sumac. Performing it, ‘the company have never looked better’ (Independent).

1 hour 35 mins/including an interval.

Age guidance 12+  Contains scenes which are not suitable for younger children and which some audience members may find upsetting. 

Fri 16 Mar
Post-show talk. Free to same-day ticket holders

Presented by the Barbican. The Suit is co-commissioned by the Barbican

Ballet Black at Barbican OpenFest

Ballet Class and Q&A
Sat 17 Mar, 12 - 1pm 

Cassa Pancho (Artistic Director of Ballet Black) will conduct a Ballet Class for all ages on the Barbican Freestage in the foyer, prior to Ballet Black's open rehearsal and performance on Saturday evening in the Barbican Theatre. This workshop is free and open to all, no prior experience necessary. 

Open warm up
Sat 17 Mar, 5.30-6.30pm

Ballet Black will be preparing for the evening performance with a class on stage in the Barbican Theatre. Audiences will be invited in to get an intimate look at the preparation that goes into an evening’s performance by a professional Ballet Company. The open warm up is free. Entry via the Circle on Theatre Right only (no entry via Theatre Left). 


‘Quality is her byword‘
Sunday Express on Cathy Marston
‘A delicious confection of a Dream … subverted by a rude and surreal spirit‘


£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

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Barbican Theatre