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Ballet Black dancers

Black History Month

As we come towards the end of Black History Month, we wanted to reflect on some of the content we've been engaging with and highlight a few upcoming events from our dance colleagues.

We've hosted Ballet Black many times at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre and always love to see what they do. In this episode of Danceworks, hear about how Cassa Pancho founded the company, their epic Glastonbury performance with Stormzy and preparations for a new piece by South African dancer Mthuthuzeli November. The company also just won the Best New Dance Production Olivier Award and Best Dance Production Award at the Black British Theatre Awards for their work Ingoma.

Based at Quarry Hill with us, Phoenix Dance Theatre's history is a huge part of dance in Leeds. The company was formed in 1981 by three young black British men and the company have been profiling the founders over on their Twitter feed. You can currently watch Sharon Watson's Windrush: Movement of the People on Marquee TV. It is the first contemporary dance work to explore the narrative of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush that brought the first Caribbean migrants to the UK.

Also here in Leeds, RJC Dance empower young people and adults through movement and develop the next generation of diverse artists to ensure Black British dance is a valued art form. This short film gives just a taste of their energy and talent.

Serendipity is an arts charity focused on diversity based in Leicester. Their Twitter feed is always worth a look, and we've been particularly enjoying their Black History Month content. The launch of the Black British Dance Platform, a new initiative in partnership with Dance4 to support and nurture UK baed dance artists from the African and African Caribbean Diaspora, is online today, Thursday 29 October.

DanceXchange, in collaboration with One Dance UK, are hosting a series of online events celebrating Dance of the African Disapora including discussion and a masterclass with Joseph Toonga.

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