News Story

Mojisayo Robson, one of our Creative Futures alumnae and now Training Practitioner tells us about her night experiencing Ballet Black, the ground-breaking ballet company that celebrates Black and Asian dancers – and who performed at Hackney Empire in March for the first time in 15 years!

“As a Hackney Empire veteran, I always have high expectations when it comes to the shows they put on: as always, I was not disappointed! I was lucky enough to see Ballet Black: HEROES; the new double bill that explores ‘humanity, heroism and self-acceptance’ - and it was incredible!

I’m a dedicated dance lover and watched the show with some friends who are big ballet fans, but I was also able to bring my mum, who had never seen a ballet before - safe to say, we started off strong! While we all started from a range of experiences it was easily 5 stars across the board. As a group of black women, it was so refreshing to see a ballet full of people who look like us.

‘Humanity, heroism and self-acceptance'

If at First

I’ve been familiar with Ballet Black for some time but had yet to see them perform, and this show exceeded any preconceptions I had. The first piece, If at First (inspired by Basquiat’s Eroica) was profound in a way that wasn’t pretentious and brought to life the themes of heroism, humanity, and the complexities that arise as these concepts intertwine. It never fails to amaze me how clearly a story can be told through movement, when no words are said. It was beautiful.

The Waiting Game

The second piece, The Waiting Game felt like a fresh take on the type of performance you’d expect to see in ballet. As someone with a terrible attention span, I can confidently say my mind did not once wander; it was funny and conflicting, yet still so beautiful. It’s clear how much love has gone into this piece to get it to where it is today.

"Ballet Black... a vehicle for change in a world that at times still tries to stifle human existence"

Take a bow!

Overall, the show was incredible. Ballet Black is not only a company full of tremendous artists, they're a vehicle for change in a world that at times still tries to stifle human existence. To go to the theatre and see and feel seen by what’s on the stage is a luxury, and I felt blessed to experience that luxury because of this show. Of course, Hackney Empire is and has always been similarly incredible: time and time again we see Hackney Empire facilitating and highlighting stories and people that matter - long may it continue!”