The UK’s only professional ballet company for black and Asian dancers makes its debut on the main stage of the Hackney Empire on 2 July. Describing the event as “nerve wracking”, Ballet Black founder Cassa Pancho says it  marks a watershed in her small troupe’s short history.

The programme includes work from choreographers Martin Lawrance, Antonia Franceschi and Will Tucket. In recent years Ballet Black has commissioned new work from Richard Alston, Shobana Jeyasingh and Liam Scarlett, and has earned itself a much-respected reputation as a troupe with big ambitions.