Thursday 8 June 2006
Happy Birthday Rambert!
80 Years Old on Thursday 15 June 2006
On 15 June 1926 the visionary Polish dance teacher Marie Rambert presented a short
ballet A Tragedy of Fashion by her pupil Frederick Ashton at the Lyric
Hammersmith, marking the birth of what was to become Ballet Rambert, and the most
influential force in the development of British dance. 80 years later, under the
artistic leadership of Mark Baldwin, Rambert Dance Company remains at the vanguard
of the British dance scene, continually setting higher standards of performance and
In the 1960s Rambert began extending the dancers movement vocabulary by adding
modern dance techniques to its classical training. The results enlivened the
creative history and expanded the vision for choreographers and dance artists
alike. As a
large-scale touring company, and the UKs flagship for modern dance, Rambert
instrumental in bringing this, the countrys most exciting and fastest growing
artform, to a
continuingly expanding audience all over the country. Rambert is, quite genuinely,
Britains national cultural treasures.
During its 80th anniversary year, Rambert is channelling much of its energy into the
fundraising campaign for its New Home Appeal. Coin Street Community Builders has
generously given the Company a plot of land worth £5million on the South Bank
Rambert needs to raise £11.5million in order to facilitate this exciting
prospect and realise
its full potential for the next 80 years and beyond.
The new centre, designed by award-winning architects, Allies & Morrison, will
Rambert to develop even more innovative and exciting productions, dancers and
choreographers; provide full access for the first time to Ramberts unique and
archive; and enhance Ramberts community and education programme, providing
opportunities for people to experience for themselves the thrill of modern dance in a
welcoming, inclusive environment. The location of the new building will place
the heart of Londons artistic cultural quarter, in the company of such
spaces as the National Theatre, the South Bank Centre and Tate Modern.
As Artistic Director Mark Baldwin commented:
This is perhaps the most exciting moment in the Companys modern history,
a realisation of
a dream first dreamt by Marie Rambert, when she founded the Company in 1926. This will
be a laboratory to experiment in, the means to reach into the community we serve,
last a real purpose-built home for the Company.
These new facilities are essential to Ramberts artistic growth and future
creation of new work is the lifeblood of Rambert: Frederick Ashton made his first
the Company whilst still a student at the age of 21, later going on to be Founder
Choreographer of the Royal Ballet. The vision of Marie Rambert for the Company to be
just a great performing ensemble but also a hot-house for new talent has been realised
through the generations to the present day, developing and nurturing some of the
British choreographers of the 20th Century.
Rambert has already raised £3.5m through a variety of sources including Arts
England, The Foyle Foundation, two lead gift pledges of half a million each from very
generous individual donors, plus other private donations, leaving £8m still to
aims to have enough money raised to break ground in 2007.
For further information or photographic images please contact Francesca Eyles, Press
Media Officer on 020 8630 0612 or email
Media information can also be accessed on Ramberts website:
Login: 1press / Password: folder
Notes to Editors
Rambert Dance Company is the oldest dance company in Britain and is celebrating its
anniversary in 2006. It is also Britains flagship for modern dance, employing
a larger group
of artists than any other in the UK. Under its Artistic Director Mark Baldwin,
Company tours throughout the United Kingdom and internationally with a wide spectrum
large-scale repertoire, including both new commissions and works from the
heritage. It provides a showcase for British choreography, developing a steady
exceptional choreographic talent and creating opportunities for work to be seen on
scale. Classical ballet and contemporary dance are taught side by side.
other art-forms are encouraged. Rambert Dance Company performs to over 50,000 people
each year and reaches over 8,000 individuals through its extensive education programme.