Eduard Kochergin is Russia's most famous stage set designer. Like many of his generation, he suffered a horrendous childhood. He never knew his father, who was arrested at the height of Stalin's purges in 1937, and his mother was arrested when he was three. Aged four, during the Second World War, Eduard was sent to the Urals in central Russia to a home for children of "enemies' of the nation". In 1945, he ran away, embarking on an epic 2,500 km journey back home to his mother in Leningrad, now St Petersburg.
Ten years ago a young mixed-race British woman was so struck by the absence of black dancers in classical ballet that she decided to start her own ballet company. Cassa Pancho was training to be a dancer herself when she founded Ballet Black, an award winning company which also runs a ballet school for young children. The group is currently rehearsing for a production of "Orpheus" at the Royal Opera House in London.