Review Ballet Black: Heroes, Cassa Pancho, Barbican Theatre by Tanica Psalmist

Cassa Pancho, the founder, Artistic dDirector & CEO of Ballet Black has again showcased raw, passionate and tightly synchronised works, with new choreography by Sophie Laplane and Mthuthzeli November. The first piece on the bill is entitled; About it First, exploring the themes ‘heroism & its complexities’ of everyday people, & everyone’s oblivion, inability & disservice to recognise heroic acts at times. We also witness competitiveness & vanity due to social media’s addictive streak in bringing out others ego in being recognised & acknowledged, as well as non-attempts to be seen and how everyone’s relationship with heroism plays out differently in the ordinary & the extraordinary.

The soundtrack includes music from Ludwig von Beethoven to Michelle Gurevich, with original sections composed by Tom Harold. The ambience throughout each dance set is eclectic & magnetic. The piece delved deeper into the themes; resolution, kindness, community orientation & mutual support, foretelling how heroism can act out in our daily lives. Each cast member’s unique tenacity combined with depth, energy and melody, additionally told a unique, empowering story of the human spirit. With sparkly jackets and other interesting detail to the Ballet Black casts outfits due to costume designer: Jessica Cabassa.

The second piece The Waiting Game‘ offers a different spin of being torn between work-life balance, fine tuning between sanity & reality, navigating through uncertainty, collecting our thoughts & re-building strength, courage, rediscovering purpose and re-gaining hope.

The Waiting Game:

Choreography: Mthuthuzeli November

Music: The Waiting Game (2023) composed by Mthuthuzeli November & Alex Wilson

Lighting Design: David Plater. Original costume designs for 2020 by Peter Todd

Door Design: Richard Bolton & Phil Cristodolou

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