About Us

Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black is a professional ballet company for international dancers of black and Asian descent. The company was founded in 2001 by our Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho MBE, in order to provide role models to young, aspiring black and Asian dancers. We aim to bring ballet to a more culturally diverse audience by celebrating black and Asian dancers in ballet. We perform and offer community driven classes for dancers and students, young and old.

Our ultimate goal is to see a fundamental change in the number of black and Asian dancers in mainstream ballet companies, making that vision wonderfully unnecessary.

Read more about our progression over the past decade on our History page.
You can also read a more in-depth profile on our company founder and Artistic Director, Cassa Pancho MBE here.

Awards & Nominations

South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2015

  • Dance nominee for A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Olivier Award Nominations

  • Outstanding Achievement in Dance, Arthur Pita for his work A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream – shortlisted 2014

Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

  • Best Independent Company 2018 – shortlisted
  • Best Independent Company 2014 – shortlisted
  • Winner Best Independent Company 2012
  • Winner Outstanding Company 2009

Choreographic Nominations

  • Storyville by Christopher Hampson – shortlisted 2012
  • A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Arthur Pita – shortlisted 2014
  • The Suit by Cathy Marston – winner Best Classical Choreography 2018

Other Nominations

Critics Circle – Dancer nominations

Outstanding Female (classical)

  • Sara Kundi shortlisted 2009
  • Cira Robinson shortlisted 2013

Outstanding Male (classical)

  • Jose Alves – Winner of the Outstanding Male Classical Performance 2018

Lightning Design Award Nominations

  • Winner of the 2018 Knight of Illumination Award for Dance: David Plater for his design of Cathy Marston’s The Suit.

Production Award Nominations

  • 2018 UK Theatre Awards nomination for Achievement in Dance – ‘Ballet Black for Cathy Marston’s The Suit, perfectly paired with Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream‘.

Cassa Pancho received an MBE in the 2013 New Years Honours list for services to ballet and in 2018 Cassa was awarded the Freedom of the City of London.