Ballet Black dancer wins 2020 Olivier Award

Published: 28 October 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Ballet Black in Ingoma Credit: Bill Cooper
Ballet Black in Ingoma Credit: Bill Cooper

Senior Artist at Ballet Black Mthuthuzeli November has been nominated for a 2020 Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Emerging Artist for choreography and now he has won the 2020 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production for Ingoma, which also won Best Dance Production for Ballet Black at this year's Black British Theatre Awards.

Cassa Pancho MBE, Founder & Artistic Director of Ballet Black, said, "to say that we are delighted about our double win is an understatement. I am so thrilled for Mthuthuzeli and all of Ballet Black; not only for the acknowledgment of his creativity and ingenuity, but the recognition of the dedication and love that all members of Ballet Black, on and off stage, invest in each ballet we create. Ingoma is particularly special to us as it is the first Black story, told by people of Black descent, to be expressed through ballet, on a British main stage."

November joined Ballet Black in 2015 and has created roles in Cristaux (Arthur Pita, 2016), The Wolf in Red Riding Hood (Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, 2017), and The Lover in The Suit (Cathy Marston, 2018). As a choreographer, he has created Interrupted (2016), WASHA: The Burn From The Inside, Ingoma (2019) and the upcoming BB work The Waiting Game (2021). For #BBonFilm: Like Water is due out in late 2020. Mthuthuzeli composes his own music and has created the score for The Waiting Game.

Ballet Black also commissioned Mthuthuzeli to create the pas de deux for Stormzy’s 2019 Glastonbury Festival Pyramid Stage debut.

As an independent choreographer November created his own choreographic platform, M22 Movement Lab. He won South Africa’s Emerging artist at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees for his solo work.