Berto Pasuka(1911-1963), Jamaican dancer and choreographer
Sitter in 12 portraits
Born Wilbert Passerley in Jamaica, Pasuka ignored his family’s wishes for him to become a dentist, instead following his own desire to dance. He studied classical ballet in Kingston, where he first saw a group of descendants of runaway slaves dancing to the rhythmic beat of a drum. Feeling inspired to take black dance to new audiences, he moved to London in 1939, enrolling at the Astafieva dance school to polish off his choreography skills. Following his work on the movie Men of Two Worlds he and fellow Jamaican dancer Richie Riley, formed their own dance company. Les Ballet Negres was born in the 1940's bringing traditional and contemporary black dance to the UK and Europe with sell-out tours.