<big>Other News from Rambert</big>
“Because there is always so much to tell with regard to what’s happening at Rambert Dance Company, awards, touring information, new repertory, education work, to name just a few things, we have decided that our press office will issue a monthly Media Bulletin to keep everyone abreast of our various activities. We hope you find the information both useful and interesting.”
Mark Baldwin, Artistic Director of Rambert Dance Company
Rambert is Britain’s oldest dance company, founded in 1926 and transformed into a contemporary dance company in 1968. Under its Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Rambert Dance Company tours a wide spectrum of large-scale repertoire, including both new commissions and works from the Company’s heritage, throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. Rambert Dance Company performs to over 50,000 people each year and reaches over 6,000 individuals through its extensive education programme.
GENERAL COMPANY NEWS
· Recent Awards for Rambert
Time Out Live Award 2004 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Rambert’s Music Director Paul Hoskins and its Associate Orchestra London Musici have won the 2004 Time Out Live Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. London Musici was named “the most involved, committed and lively dance band in Britain”.
Critics Circle National Dance Award for Ana Luján Sanchez
Ana Luján Sanchez has won this year’s award for Outstanding Female Artist (Modern) at the recent Critics Circle National Dance Awards in London, the only professional awards in the UK devoted exclusively to dance. The Critics' Circle Dance Section comprises all of the professional dance critics working in this country.
Born in Valencia, Spain, Ana trained with Mari-Cruz Alcalá at the Ballet Clasico de Valencia and the Rambert School. She danced with Ballet Clasico de Valencia before joining Rambert in April 1996.
Laurence Olivier Awards 2004
In the category of Outstanding Achievement in Dance Rambert fills two of the four nominations (Awards to be announced 22 February)
Firstly, Javier De Frutos for his choreography of Rambert Dance Company’s ELSA CANASTA at Sadler’s Wells and secondly The dancers of Rambert Dance Company for their November 2003 season at Sadler’s Wells.
· Rambert in China
The Company recently returned from a tour of China as part of ‘Think UK’ in association with the British Council. The visit was also partly sponsored by the Chinese promoter Milky Way Arts & Communications Company. Rambert performed at the Shanghai Art Theatre in November 2003 and returned to China in January to the Tianquiao Theatre in Beijing as part of the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations. Rambert was the first British dance company to tour to China and performed in Shanghai, Peking (now Beijing), Tientsin, Wuhan, Nankin and Hanchow as part of a six week tour of the country with Marie Rambert in 1957. Rambert more recently performed in Beijing at the Capital Theatre in 1996 sponsored by the British Council.
“Rambert Dance Company is the oldest dance company in Britain. It was also the first dance company to visit China, with a tour in 1957 during which it performed for Premier Zhou Enlai. I am delighted to welcome Rambert to China as part of Think UK.”
Sir Christopher Hum, British Ambassador to China
Rambert has been invited back to Beijing in 2006 to hopefully perform at the new, French-designed Beijing Opera House, currently under construction, in Tiannamen Square.
· Departing Rambert Staff
It is with regret that Rambert announces the departure of two key members of staff, Associate Artistic Director Steven Brett and dancer Conor O’Brien. Brett joins The British Council, whilst O’Brien has decided to retire at the very top of his profession.
Steven Brett - Associate Artistic Director
Steven was born in Adelaide, and has lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville and Canberra, where his parents now live. He trained at the Victorian College of Arts and the Australia Ballet School, taking a year off to study Environmental Science at Melbourne College of Advanced Education. He danced with Nederlands Dans Theatre 2 before joining Rambert as a dancer in 1988. During his career as a dancer, Steven worked with Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Glen Tetley, Richard Alston, Jirí Kylián, Hans van Manen, Jeremy James and Rambert’s former Artistic Director, Christopher Bruce CBE.
In 1998 Steven retired from dancing and was appointed a Company Rehearsal Director. His responsibilities included managing the teaching and rehearsal process alongside choreographers and co-ordinating the dancers’ schedule. He has overseen productions for such major choreographers as Siobhan Davies, Per Jonsson, Jeremy James, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Glen Tetley and Javier De Frutos.
In August 2000 Steven became Rambert’s Associate Artistic Director. He worked closely with Christopher Bruce on the programming and development of repertoire and, with the appointment of Mark Baldwin as Artistic Director in 2002, Steven has continued in this role and has also collaborated with visiting choreographers on the rehearsal and staging of new and revival works.
On Steven’s departure, Mark Baldwin said: “I am very lucky to have had Steven (an old friend and former colleague) to enrich Rambert’s artistic output. He is very much part of Rambert’s history and in many ways will remain important to me on my journey as Artistic Director.”
Conor O'Brien - Dancer
Born in Nottingham, Conor trained at both the Lower and Upper Royal Ballet Schools. During his career he worked with London City Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He joined Rambert in December 1996 and memorable roles include The Poet in Christopher Bruce and Lindsay Kemp’s Cruel Garden, the Roving Gambler in Bruce’s Grinning in your Face and the title role in Glen Tetley’s seminal Pierrot Lunaire. His versatility as a dancer meant he was in much demand by choreographers commissioned to create works for Rambert and during his period with the Company he worked with Richard Alston, Jeremy James, Wayne McGregor and Javier De Frutos. Mark Baldwin, Rambert’s Artistic Director, said of Conor: “He was a hugely talented dancer, whose strength and grace on stage were a pleasure to watch. He was a fantastic Company member, who, as we know, will be brilliant at whatever he does next.”
· New South Bank Location for Rambert
Rambert has an outstanding opportunity to move to a new purpose-built home on the South Bank - a location in the cultural and economic heart of London. Coin Street Community Builders (CSCB), are planning a multi-use development on the Doon Street Car Park site (behind the National Theatre) and have invited Rambert to be part of it.
Rambert has occupied its current west London rehearsal and administration premises since 1971. Sue Wyatt, Executive Director of Rambert Dance Company says "To be presented with the option of having purpose-built studios, with full-disabled access, in such a prominent position is something that we must consider seriously." It also creates a platform from which the Company's Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin, can fulfil his ambition to make Rambert one of the world's most versatile, accessible and exciting dance companies.
Mark Baldwin, Rambert's Artistic Director, says: "As Britain's only large-scale touring contemporary dance company, Rambert performs on some of the largest stages this country has. The size of our studios, however, severely restricts the scale of productions that we can create, essentially stifling our artistic aspirations. In addition to fulfilling our artistic needs, the new premises would also provide the public with greater access to the Company, our education activities and our archive. We have in this proposal the opportunity to turn Rambert into a national resource centre."
The challenge now is for Rambert to raise the estimated £6 million necessary to finance the new building, which it hopes will come from a combination of private and public sources.
Rambert Artistic Director Mark Baldwin has more than 20 years experience as a dancer/choreographer focussing particularly on the development of new work. His interest in the interaction between dance and other art forms gives him a unique perspective on the production of new work and the balance of the contributory elements.
Mark joined Rambert as Artistic Director having been regarded as a well-established and highly influential choreographer. He has recently been nominated for an Olivier Award and past awards include the 1995 Time Out Award for Dance, and in 2001 he received the Southbank Show Award for his work The Bird Sings With Its Fingers. His most recent award has been the 2002 Dance Artist Fellowship for Outstanding Contribution for Dance. He has created works for major dance companies around the world, including the Royal Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Limbs Dance Company, Berlin State Opera House, Phoenix Dance Company, Scottish Ballet (where he was Resident Choreographer in 1996) London City Ballet, Turkish State Opera House, Dhagdha Dance Company, the Modern Dance Company of Argentina, Cisne Negro Dance Company in Brazil and Rambert Dance Company.
“It is my desire that Rambert Dance Company should be a leading force in shaping British modern dance and that it should direct from the front, rather than just pull in that which appears to be fashionable. Although Rambert Dance Company occupies a significant position in the dance world, it cannot rely on yesterday’s successes”.
Mark Baldwin – June 2003
<small>[ 25 February 2004, 10:23 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>