Ballet Black triple bill at The Barbican 03/03/17

balletblackThis year’s triple bill marks Ballet Black’s 16th year since Cassa Pancho founded the company in 2001. Their message remains the same as their fan base continues to grow: diversity. This small company of only eight dancers can now comfortably sell out London’s large Barbican Theatre for several consecutive nights and their tours of the country continue for months after. Their work, whether old or new, always demonstrates a glorious level of technique, precision and grace that keeps audiences coming back.

Just as Arthur Pita‘s Cristaux made for a decorative opening to last year’s triple bill, Michael Corder’s House of Dreams fulfils a similar function here. It features two alternating duos dressed in attractive autumnal colours, the women in floaty mesh skirts. The choreography appears deliberately simple and is undoubtedly lifted by the four different Debussy piano accompaniments. This non-narrative ballet allows the audience to simply enjoy the beauty of the featured dancers.

Marie Astrid Mence and Jacob Wye are strong while remaining lyrical, whereas Sayaka Ichikawa and Damien Johnson have a lighter, more fluid touch. Both duos exhibit wonderful lines and beautiful arabesques that make for a romantic opening. Occasionally it’s nice to see a work like this than doesn’t require too much thought from the viewer other than to sit back and absorb.

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