Ballet Black was founded in 2001 with a mission to make a fundamental change in the diversity of mainstream classical ballet – on stage, behind the scenes, and among audiences & participants. We recognise the importance of providing visible, diverse role models of Black and Asian descent in ballet. Our professional ballet company is made up of ten dancers from around the world and we create award-winning new work that is bold and distinctive, both live and on film, that tours the UK and internationally. Our size and scale of production makes it possible for us to perform in large theatres such as London’s Barbican Theatre as well as small scale theatres like DanceXchange, enabling us to take our work to areas that may not otherwise receive high-quality ballet. We have developed a strong reputation as one of the most prolific commissioners of new ballets (over 60) in the UK and are known for nurturing many emerging choreographers who have gone on to enjoy successful careers.

Since 2020 Digital technology has become a vital part of what we do. We are currently developing #BBonFilm as a digital showcase of all things Ballet Black. The development of this initiative has been made possible with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies Digital Accelerator Programme. This grant has supported the consolidation of our Digital Producer and their role in both developing this website and in the launch of our mobile screening initiative. The screening service enables us to take our film work to theatres that are unable to accommodate our live performances, plus schools, universities, film festivals and community groups. Our Digital Producer also oversees the creation of our online library of ballet class resources, the development of our future film projects and all licensing and streaming negotiations. 

In addition to the release BBonFilm, and with the kind support of The Linbury Trust, we have also busy aggregating and sampling our film and live audiences to better understand the interests and wishes of our audience as a digital customer.

Since 2021 we have won or have received an official selection in over 25 Film Festival awards from around the world. Alongside promoting our existing digital material our ambition is to create further educational resources and one new dance film per year so that digital touring sits alongside live performance touring as a staple of what we do.

We also develop talent at the early stages of ballet through our subsidised Junior School & Junior Associate Programme, providing professionally taught ballet classes led by teachers of diverse heritage to children and young people aged 3 to 18.  Our Junior Associate Programme is designed to support and inspire girls and young women aged 12 to 16 during the crucial pre-vocational stage of ballet training. This cements our commitment to reaching a critical mass of young people for whom the artform of ballet has historically been closed and is part of our contribution to diversifying ballet in the UK.

We challenge perceptions in ballet, promote greater inclusion in dance training, and are growing audience diversity for ballet and the wider dance sector across the UK.   We are also playing a vital role in advocating wider societal change through our industry-changing collaborations, such as working with Freed of London to create the first UK made pointe shoes for Black, Asian, and culturally diverse dancers.

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