Ballet Black in Rehearsal with Cathy Marston

Artists of Ballet Black in Cathy Marston's The Suit.

When we interviewed choreographer Cathy Marston last year, she mentioned she was working with Ballet Black on an adaptation of The Suit, a short story by South African author Can Themba. The project sounded fascinating, so we asked to drop in on rehearsals while the company prepared for its spring season at the Barbican, where The Suit will feature alongside the revival of Arthur Pita’s A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Cathy had told us back in October: “it is a simple story that would work as a one-act piece: it centers on a couple in a seemingly happy marriage. He leaves to work in the morning, and at work he is told that his wife is having an affair. So he goes back home and finds his wife in bed with another man. The man is so terrified he jumps out of the window and leaves his suit behind. And the husband pretends not to see him and just says ‘oh I see we have a new guest in the house, we need to treat him carefully’ and treats the suit as the guest, setting a place at the dinner table, taking the suit for a walk on Sundays… thus, he psychologically abuses her with this. Long story short, in the end she kills herself. Very simple, a very tragic story and very theatrical.” With dancers José Alves and Cira Robinson in the leading roles, The Suit looks like an absorbing dance drama:

All photos: © The Ballet Bag

Ballet Black performs The Suit and A Dream Within a Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Barbican, London, 15 to 17 March, 2018. For more information and to book tickets, visit Ballet Black’s website.

Her favourite ballets feel like good books – one can see them 1,000 times and they always feel fresh. Linda loves Giselle, all full-length MacMillan plus Song of the Earth, Robbins’s Dances at a Gathering, Balanchine’s Serenade and Agon, Ashton’s Scènes de Ballet and Symphonic Variations.

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