Welcome to the Documentary Film section of our digital catalogue. Here we showcase a selection of the many short documentaries that have been made about the company and dancers over recent years. We would like to thank the production companies and broadcasters who have supported and shared this work.
BBC4 Danceworks Documentary 'Ballet Black - The Waiting Game'.
London’s Ballet Black is a professional dance company bringing ballet to a more diverse audience by promoting dancers of black and Asian descent. The company made headlines in 2019 when it performed during Stormzy’s bravura Glastonbury set.
This film explores the work of artistic director Cassa Pancho as she nurtures aspiring young dancers and gains recognition for her company’s collaborations with world-class choreographers. It also follows the creative process of South African dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November as he creates a dynamic new ballet inspired in equal measure by Samuel Beckett’s seminal Waiting for Godot and African rhythms and language.
The sense of all stops being pulled out is hard to miss. If the first three songs pass with Stormzy on stage, with only his union jack vest, his DJ and an intense light show for company (the latter comes complete with a ticker tape that, instead of news events, shows the names of south London boroughs) that quickly changes. There’s a ballet interlude – designed to underline the fact that black ballet dancers now have shoes designed to match their skin tone – there’s a vast gospel choir, there are dancers, complete with a little kid busting moves, there are children on bikes popping wheelies as Stormzy performs Vossi Bop. The Guardian
‘Historic moment in British ballet history’
In October 2018, after 18 months of development, Freed of London have teamed up with Ballet Black founder and artistic director Cassa Pancho MBE and Senior Artist Cira Robinson to create the first skin tone pointe shoes, handmade in the U.K. for black, Asian and mixed race dancers.
After over a year in development, Freed of London has introduced new colours ‘Ballet Bronze’ and ‘Ballet Brown’ to their core collection. The Freed of London ethos has always been to develop shoes to meet the needs of each generation of dancer and these new colours continue to reflect this.
“This wouldn’t of been achievable without the help of everyone involved, especially “Ballet Black” whom we collaborated with to create these beautiful new colours.” – Freed of London
“I am beyond delighted that Freed have launched these two new colours. Although it may seem like a very small change to the outside world, I believe this is an historic moment in British ballet history and another step forward for culturally diverse dancers across the globe who wear the iconic Freed brand of shoe.
I would like to thank Freed for using their platform to help instigate change, and Cira Robinson, Senior Artist at Ballet Black, for her unending dedication to making this possible.”- Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder & Artistic Director
Ballet Black is a professional ballet company for international dancers of black and Asian descent. The company was founded in 2001 by their Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho MBE, in order to foster talent and provide role models to young, aspiring black and Asian dancers. Beyond the Screen is a short film presented by Facebook