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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.

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Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG P1305

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, published in Ballet January 1946
NPG P1305

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG P1306

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, published in Ballet January 1950
NPG P1306

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183871

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1940s
NPG Ax183871

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183873

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183873

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183875

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183875

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183876

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183876

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183877

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183877

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183878

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183878

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183874

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, circa 1946
NPG Ax183874

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183872

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1947
NPG Ax183872

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG Ax183882

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1947
NPG Ax183882

Berto Pasuka, by Angus McBean - NPG x199306

Berto Pasuka

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1947
NPG x199306

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