Ballet Black at Oxford Playhouse on Wednesday 7 November 2018

By Cait Sweeney at

Pioneering dance company Ballet Black, returns to Oxford Playhouse on Wednesday 7 November 2018, with a double bill of bold and inventive choreography.

As part of their latest bill, Cathy Marston, renowned for her expressive and beautifully crafted work, choreographs a new narrative ballet for the whole Company. Inspired by Can Themba’s South African fable The Suit, this is the first UK dance adaptation of this affecting short story. The Suit is co-commissioned by the Barbican.

Completing the evening is a re-staging of 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, South Bank and Critics’ Circle National Dance Award nomination following its premiere in 2014. 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.

Cassa Pancho, Founder and Artistic Director, said: “The whole company and I are thrilled to be returning to Oxford Playhouse for our third year and to share our new work with audiences. I am really excited to try something new this year by presenting our first ever double-bill of narrative ballets. Our friends and followers have been asking to see Arthur Pita’s fabulous Dream again, ever since we first danced it in 2014, so we jumped at the opportunity to bring it back in 2018. We are also really pleased to have the chance to collaborate with the wonderful Cathy Marston on The Suit, which will be a beautiful contrast with Dream.”

Choreographer; CATHY MARSTEN

Founded in 2001, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is an award-winning, neo-classical ballet company, dedicated bringing ballet to a more culturally diverse audience by celebrating the talent of dancers from around the world. The company is made up international dancers of black and Asian descent. The entirely original repertoire covers a broad spectrum of ballet, from classical work to highly contemporary pieces.

Since 2001, they have built a varied repertoire from the best emerging and established choreographers, including Liam Scarlett, Shobana Jeyasingh, Jonathan Watkins, Richard Alston, Christopher Hampson, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Javier De Frutos, to name a few.

Ballet Black has achieved great success and garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the 2012 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Independent Company, and a further nomination for 2014. In 2017 the Company was nominated for Best Creative Artist at the Black British Entertainment Awards in London.

Tickets for Ballet Black at Oxford Playhouse start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at

Dates: Wednesday 7 November 2018
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 to £25