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Ballet Black


Five ballet dancers pose in costumes

Now in their 21st year, this acclaimed ballet company presents award-winning choreographers Will Tuckett and Mthuthuzeli November in a captivating double bill of new and original work.

Following regular sold-out runs, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black returns to our stage with this thrilling and imaginative double bill. 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’s Nina: By Whatever Means, is 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.

Ballet Black is transforming the dance landscape by giving a platform to artists of Black and Asian descent as well as to new and established choreographic voices whose unexpected stories and themes come from the heart to resonate with modern audiences.

Running time: 90 minutes, including a 20 minute interval

Age guidance: 7+

Please note: Nina: By Whatever Means contains themes of racism and fleeting domestic violence

Post-show talk chaired by Mikey J' Asante, Fri 10 Mar
Free to same-day ticket holders 

Ballet Black Open Rehearsal, Fri 20 Jan, 6pm
Open rehearsal for Barbican Members.

Presented and co-commissioned by the Barbican.

Image credit: Nick Guttridge


‘Ballet Black have blazed many trails. The troupe of black and Asian dancers have proved an indie ballet company can thrive, attracting an impressive calibre of choreographers.‘
The Guardian
‘Ballet Black makes a thoroughly convincing case that this is indeed the future of dance – and that this should be cause for celebration.‘
‘Ambitious, atmospheric work‘
Guardian on Ballet Black’s Triple Bill (2019)
‘Bubbles of happiness bounce through the audience … a triumph‘
Seeing Dance on Ballet Black’s Triple Bill (2019)


A group of dancers gather and seem to be pushing one dancer (whose arms are outstretched) ahead of them.

Watch: Behind the scenes

Ever wondered how Ballet Black get their perfect snaps? In this video, take a peak behind the scenes at their annual photoshoot with Nick Guttridge

Barbican Theatre