Ballet Black

Wednesday 28th - Thursday 29th June

Now in their 21st year, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is excited to present award-winning choreographers, Will Tuckett and Mthuthuzeli November in a double bill of new and original work in Ballet Black: Pioneers.


Will Tuckett’s Then Or Noworiginally created in 2020, blends classical ballet, music and the poetry of Adrienne Rich to ask the question: in times like these, where do we each belong?

“…the piece feels above all like a call for respect across any and all divides.” The Telegraph, 2021

The second piece on the bill is devised by award-winning choreographer, Mthuthuzeli November. Nina: By Whatever Means, is inspired by the artistry and activism of Nina Simone. November weaves a skilful picture of Simone’s turbulent and influential life to take us on an emotional and empowering journey.

Act 1, Then Or Now: 34 mins (approx) Interval: 20 minutes Act 2, NINA: By Whatever Means: 40 mins (approx)

Creative Team

Artistic Director: Cassa Pancho

Then Or Now (2020)

This ballet was originally a co-commission with The Barbican

Choreographer | Will Tuckett

Costume Design | Yukiko Tsukamoto

Poetry | Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)

Director of Poetry | Fiona L Bennett

Poetry Recordings | Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Natasha Gordon & Michael Shaeffer

Music |Passacaglia for solo violin (1676) Composed by Heinrich Franz von Biber (1644-1704) & Daniel Pioro. Recording by Daniel Pioro

NINA: By Whatever Means (2023)

This ballet is a co-commission with The Barbican

Choreography & Direction | Mthuthuzeli November

Lighting Design | David Plater

Costume Design | Jessica Cabassa

Composers | Mandisi Dyantyis, Mthuthuzeli November, Nina Simone (1954-2002)

Featuring the voices of the Zolani Youth Choir

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