Media Bulletin: November 2005
Rambert is Britain’s flagship modern dance company. Founded in 1926 it transformed into a modern dance company in 1966. Under its Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Rambert Dance Company tours throughout the United Kingdom and internationally with a wide spectrum of large-scale repertoire, including both new commissions and works from the Company’s heritage. Rambert Dance Company performs to over 50,000 people each year and reaches over 6,000 individuals through its extensive education programme.
- World Première of Christopher Bruce’s new work A Steel Garden at Sadler’s Wells
- Rambert and The Lowry announce plans for a new commission in 2006
- The Rambert Workshop Season returns to The Place in January 2006
- Mark Baldwin Wins the 2005 TMA Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance
- Archivist Jane Pritchard leaves Rambert after 23 and half years service to join the Theatre Museum as Curator of Dance
REPERTOIRE AND TOURING NEWS
Christopher Bruce World Première at Sadler’s Wells
Rambert Dance Company returns to Sadler’s Wells this autumn between Tuesday 15 and Saturday 19 November, with the World Première of Christopher Bruce’s first work for Rambert since his retirement as Artistic Director in November 2002, A Steel Garden.
The programme also includes the London Première of Curious Conscience by Rafael Bonachela – his last and most ambitious project as Associate Choreographer – and the Olivier Award-winning production of Michael Clark’s Swamp.
Christopher Bruce’s choreographic career began with Rambert in 1969 and he has gone on to become one of Britain’s most important and popular choreographers. For A Steel Garden, Bruce has collaborated with composer David C. Heath. Using Heath’s existing composition, Dawn of a New Age, as a starting point, the new, extended score evolved together with the choreography. Despite being inspired by the nature and atmosphere of the existing composition, Bruce was keen to remain as fluid as possible during the process, allowing his relationship with the dancers to influence him in the creation of the material. This new work has been designed by Marian Bruce.
Curious Conscience has been created to Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings – a haunting score set to poems by six English poets. Using both the music and the poems as inspiration, Bonachela and designer Alan Macdonald have created a dark and surreal landscape, which reflects the central themes of ‘night’, ‘sleep’ and ‘dreams’.
Rambert Dance Company performs at Sadler’s Wells between Tuesday 15 and Saturday 19 November at 7.30pm. There is a family matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 19 November which includes A Steel Garden and Curious Conscience only. Tickets available from the box office on 0870 737 7737 or online via www.sadlerswells.com
New Lowry Commission for Anniversary Year
Rambert Dance Company is delighted to announce that The Lowry in Salford has commissioned the Company to create a new work, which embodies the art and world view of LS Lowry, to recognise 30 years since the artist’s death. The commission, which falls within Rambert’s 80th anniversary year, will première at The Lowry on Wednesday 27 September 2006 before touring the UK as part of Rambert’s autumn 2006 repertoire.
LS Lowry is widely considered to be one of the most popular artists of the 20th century, best known for his atmospheric urban landscapes. The Lowry houses the biggest public collection of paintings and drawings by LS Lowry, which are shown in changing thematic exhibitions alongside other artists, both historic and contemporary.
The new work will be one of Rambert’s major anniversary commissions, involving close collaboration with The Lowry’s artistic team on developing a piece of work that embodies LS Lowry’s art and world view. The choreographer of this new work is yet to be confirmed, but the premise offers enormous creative potential.
When The Lowry opened in 2000, Rambert Dance Company was invited to become a Partner Company. This collaboration will enable both parties to develop the partnership, offering increased creative input, and stronger bonds with the theatre and its audiences.
The Rambert Workshop Season 2006
The Rambert Workshop Season returns in 2006, with six of Rambert’s versatile dancers creating new choreography, to be presented at The Place: Robin Howard Dance Theatre on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 January 2006.
As the first performance of Rambert’s 80th Anniversary Year, this event offers an appropriate reminder of the Company’s long-standing commitment to new choreographers and its great creative legacy. The 2006 Workshop Season will be the 25th workshop since Rambert was transformed into a contemporary dance company in 1966, when this initiative was introduced.
The dancers selected to take part in this year’s Workshop Season are Ana Luján Sánchez, Cameron McMillan, Patricia Okenwa, Mikaela Polley, Melanie Teall and Alexander Whitley. Following last year’s successful partnership with the Royal Academy of Music, dancer Cameron McMillan will be working in collaboration with composer Elspeth Brooke from the Academy to create an original music score alongside the choreography.
Mark Baldwin wins 2005 TMA Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance
Rambert Dance Company is delighted to announce that Artistic Director Mark Baldwin has won the 2005 TMA Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance. The Award recognises Mark for the creation of Constant Speed and the high calibre of his artistic directorship of Rambert Dance Company.
Rambert Dance Company has also been nominated for The Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern) at the 2005 Critics Circle National Dance Awards.
Mark Baldwin’s leadership of Rambert over the last three years has been hailed as a resounding success by audiences and critics alike. His incisive direction and strong creative vision has infused Rambert with a renewed sense of purpose, producing a fresh and energetic repertoire, an exceptional troupe of dancers and an array of innovative collaborations and commissions.
Baldwin’s first choreographic work as Artistic Director since his appointment in November 2002, Constant Speed, has been widely acclaimed for its novel and charming approach to physics. Inspired by three of Einstein’s key 1905 theories, Constant Speed has Rambert’s dancers whizzing around the stage like hyperactive molecules, in a joyous and athletic frenzy of movement. Constant Speed was commissioned by The Institute of Physics to celebrate Einstein Year in 2005 and appears at every venue, apart from Sadler’s Wells, on Rambert’s autumn tour.
Jane Pritchard, Archivist:
Rambert Dance Company bids farewell to Archivist Jane Pritchard who leaves the Company in December 2005 to become Curator of Dance at the Theatre Museum. After 23 and half years with Rambert Jane has transformed the Company’s remote and disordered collection of historic records into a functional and treasured archive.
When Jane took up the post, Ballet Rambert was already over 50 years old and had collected a huge amount of archive material that, in the absence of anyone prepared to take charge of it, lay if not unloved, certainly untended. Added to this, without an assigned warden, much of the historical material had been dispersed outside of Rambert’s protection and needed to be retrieved.
It is a tribute to Jane’s work that so much material has been returned, and the archive has now gained a public profile. Indeed, as the oldest dance company in the UK, Rambert now has a remarkably complete archive, which serves a very functional purpose for the Company, both internally and externally.
Chairman of the Board Prudence Skene, who invited Jane to join Rambert over 23 years ago, commented, “Under Jane's care the archive has been increased, tended, catalogued and certainly loved. She hands on to her successor her creation of the most important dance archive in the UK, a very important and concrete entity. What will be greatly missed is her huge knowledge, her articulation and the enormous enthusiasm she manages to portray. Rambert is very fortunate that it has had her for as long as it has and we send her all our best wishes for her future career at the Theatre Museum.”
Amanda Jones, who joined Rambert in May 2005 as part of the Arts Council England, London Senior Dance Manager’s Fellowship Programme, has been appointed Director, Arts and Heritage Programme, at the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
The Senior Dance Manager’s Fellowship Programme was designed to enhance the professional development of experienced dance managers and add to their existing leadership skills in order to respond to the future needs of leading middle-scale dance companies. During her time with Rambert, Amanda has been working closely with Susan Wyatt, Rambert’s Executive Director and programme mentor, to develop her leadership and executive skills.
Amanda commented, “My eight months at Rambert have been instructive, exhilarating and great fun. Arts Council England's Senior Dance Manager's Fellowship has given me exactly what I need to assist my development into general dance management and Rambert has been the ideal environment in which to undertake it.”
Rambert Dance Company also bids farewell to Marketing Manager Chloe Leigh, who leaves the Company after five and half years to become Marketing and Publications Manager for See Tickets, and Sound Technician Mark Thackaray moves onto a new role at the Royal Opera House as Broadcast Engineer.
Rambert’s Dancers Enjoy Workshop Success
Over the next few months, a number of Rambert’s dancers have been give the opportunity to present their choreography, as created for the 2005 Workshop Season, at external events.
Martin Joyce has been invited to perform and extend his workshop piece Divine Influence, in collaboration with dancer Angela Towler, at ‘Breathless’ – a new contemporary arts and culture season supported by the International Herald Tribune. Martin and Angela will perform this extended work on Saturday 12 November at the City Lit venue, accompanied by solo pianist Yekaterina Lebedeva. For more information see:
http://www.iht.com/marketing/breathless ... ompany.htm
Dane Hurst and Ana Luján Sánchez have been invited by John Ashford of The Place to perform CervaNtes on Friday 9 December as part of their ‘White Christmas Season’ this year. Since its creation in January 2005, CervaNtes has also been performed by The Curve Foundation in Scotland as part of their Spring 2005 tour. Please contact Richard Thompson at The Place for more information on 020 7387 9013 or Richard.Thompson@theplace.org.uk
Cameron McMillan will present an excerpt from his piece Kiss My Eyes at the Year of the Volunteer Awards ceremony on Sunday 22 January 2006. For more information about this initiative see http://www.yearofthevolunteer.org/
DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION
Coin Street Development
Rambert Dance Company recently announced plans for the development of a new £16.5 million headquarters for the Company on a prime site on the South Bank in London, adjacent to the National Theatre, to replace its outdated premises in West London.
The new centre, designed by award-winning architects, Allies & Morrison, will house state of the art studio facilities, community and education spaces, administration and technical support systems for the Company’s international touring programmes. Located in the heart of the South Bank on a site provided by Coin Street Community Builders, Rambert will become part of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter.
The Company has outgrown its premises in Chiswick, and the current building is hampering Rambert’s efforts to remain at the forefront of modern dance. The South Bank move will provide the space needed for Rambert’s dancers and choreographers to continue to create works of an international standard. It will also allow the Company to continue its role of nurturing new British-based talent.
At the same time, the new building will allow Rambert to engage much more fully with the wider community, through education projects and outreach programmes. The new education facilities will also greatly enhance the scale and quality of outreach work on offer to the regions as part of Rambert’s national touring remit.
The total project budget is estimated at £16.5m. The generous gift of the land and development grants from the Arts Council England and London Development Agency means that Rambert already has £7m, leaving £9.5m to raise.
Lambeth and Southwark Outreach
Following the launch of the Company’s relocation to the South Bank of London, Rambert Education is pleased to announce the first of its schools-based projects in the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark.
In September 2005 the Paul Hamlyn Foundation awarded the Company £60,000 over three years to work in Lambeth secondary schools. The project will run between November 2005 to March 2008 and engage over 500 young people and up to 60 teachers throughout the project. The scheme will deliver high quality dance education and an introduction to contemporary dance for both teachers and pupils involved.
Additionally, Lambeth Education, North Lambeth Education Action Zone and Lambeth Education Business Partnership have engaged Rambert to deliver a series of residencies in Lambeth Schools over the coming year. Final details of the project are still being confirmed by the work is anticipated to commence soon.
Constant Speed Education Success
Mark Baldwin’s Einstein-inspired Constant Speed has proved to be as much of a hit off the stage has it has on, through Rambert Education’s extensive programme of outreach work this autumn.
Rambert Animateurs have delivered over 70 workshops in schools and colleges, and Constant Speed has been successful in attracting science colleges and teachers as well as acting as the starting point for dance and science collaborations. Rambert Education and Professor Ray Rivers from the Imperial College London, co-delivered a lecture demonstration on Constant Speed for The Teacher Scientist Network. In Bristol, Rambert used Constant Speed in a residency with five primary schools and in Norwich, Rambert worked with mothers and their children using the choreography as a stimulus.