The Colour Barre

'Dancers are the athletes of God’ Albert Einstein
Ballet is seen as the pinnacle of the dance world, but what happens when your entry to this world is blocked because of the colour of your skin? Hear the stories of the black British ballet pioneers, from those denied work in the UK to those who finally smashed the UK's colour bar. Featuring Darren Panton, Julie Felix, Carlos Acosta, and more!

£145.00
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Genre
Documentary
Scope
Feature
Seeking funding for
Production
Campaign type
Flexible Funding
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    Project

    The Colour Barre

    Genre
    Documentary
    Seeking funding for
    Production
    Scope
    Feature
    Campaign type
    Flexible Funding

    The history

    Black dancers have been present in British ballet from at least the 1940s onwards when two Jamaicans formed Les Ballets Nègres in 1946. However, the presence and contribution of these pioneers has been largely ignored in Britain.

    When black British dancers started to train in mainstream ballet institutions in the 1970s, they were bluntly told that they would not be hired because they were black. Almost everyone who trained during this period was forced to seek work abroad, usually at Dance Theatre of Harlem. It was not until the mid-80s that black dancers began to find success in British ballet.

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    The story

    Featuring exclusive interviews with Carlos Acosta, Julie Felix MBE, Darren Panton, and others who either trained or worked in the last century. Want to find out who was held up at gunpoint in NYC? Who became friends with Princess Diana? Who met Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg? We gotcha!

    This is their chance to tell their stories, shining a light on their triumphs and their struggles that reach far beyond the world of ballet. These are our black British heroes, the pioneers who, in the face of racism and rejection, fought to keep their dreams alive.

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    Why we need your help

    This film has been largely self financed, with the team capturing the interviews with dancers, and the dancers generously donating their time. We now need your help to bring their stories to a wider audience.

    Your support will allow us to remaster the film so that it can be broadcast in cinemas and on television, and help us promote the film to distributors and audiences around the world. 

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    Watch our event with Royal Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem!

    Presented before a live audience in London and in New York City, this special programme highlighted the little-known but extensive history of black dancers in ballet in the UK and US, and featured Brenda Garratt-Glassman, Julie Felix MBE and Shevelle Dynott from the Black British Ballet project. 

    The event is now available to watch on The Royal Opera House's YouTube channel.

    £145.00
    raised of £15,000.00 goal
    2 Days left
    5 Backers

    Pledge without reward:

    You can make a pledge to support The Colour Barre without a reward. The minimum donation is £1.00.
    £
    Official Colour Barre digital poster

    A high res version signed version of our digital film poster for The Colour Barre, sent after the film's completion.

    £20.00
    Two tickets to exclusive screening of Absolutely Marvellous in London on 27 July

    Absolutely Marvellous is a fly-on-the-wall, film following Marvel Opara, the eccentric and partially sighted mother of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Joyce over several months, brought to you by our producers, Buff Studios. The screening is at 8.15pm on Saturday 27 July at Rich Mix, London. You will also receive a signed digital film poster.

    (1 remaining out of 1)
    £50.00
    Two tickets to Island Movements ballet at Birmingham Hippodrome on 22 June 2024

    Two tickets to see our Windrush themed ballet, Island Movements, at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Windrush Day, Saturday 22 June, at 3pm or 7pm. https://blackbritishballet.com/articles/new-dates-announced-for-island-… You will also receive a signed digital film poster.

    (5 remaining out of 5)
    £50.00
    Special thanks in film credits

    Your name will be included in the film credits as a recognised supporter. You will also receive the signed digital film poster.

    £75.00
    Private online screening event

    You will be invited to an exclusive online screening event plus online Q&A with the filmmakers in the autumn. You will also receive supporter credit in the film and the signed digital film poster.

    (50 remaining out of 50)
    £100.00
    In person launch event screening and celebration

    You and a guest can join the filmmakers and dancers for a special private launch screening in London followed by a post screening celebration. You will also receive a supporter credit in the film and an A3 signed print of the film poster.

    (10 remaining out of 10)
    £250.00
    Associate Producer credit

    Be credited as a producer on the film, attend our private launch screening in the autumn and receive an A3 signed print of the film poster.

    (10 remaining out of 10)
    £2,000.00