Although a range of contemporary dance companies come intermittently to the Playhouse it seems a very long time indeed since a ballet company has performed there. Possibly the closest in recent years have been BalletBoyz and Michael Clark, but these groups however rooted in ballet technique have moved far away from classical tradition and the pointe shoe; arguably Richard Alston’s elegant lyricism has had a more balletic feel. So Ballet Black’s unabashed embrace of classical technique in chamber format came as a welcome and refreshing change to the Playhouse’s usual dance diet. Eight performers of diverse backgrounds and physical individuality come together as an ensemble in their generous and idealistic dancing, relishing ballet’s lyrical line and romantic feeling in movement, engaging the audience with their enthusiasm in a programme of three new works tailor made for the company. (more…)

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Ballet Black’s innovative programme of new work opened with Robert Binet’s Egal, to music by Bertelmann and Hahn, danced by the beautiful and athletic Cira Robinson with Jacob Wye, a First Year Apprentice with the company. An abstract work, with a sense of a story, it explored the relationship between an equally matched couple with strength, balance and energy. Robinson’s every movement has its own equilibrium, shown particularly in the perfectly counterpoised spins as she swings around her partner. She shows a strong internal logic and an awareness of both the source and destination of each movement, which makes her an extremely satisfying dancer to watch. (more…)