Even though Rambert is the oldest dance company in the UK, its brilliant dancers, choreographers, composers, and designers are taking contemporary dance to the next level. Mark Baldwin, the Artistic Director says, “I am very proud and happy with the company at the moment. We are as diverse as never before. 40% of our dancers are from different minorities backgrounds, many of them part of the LGBT+ community . It is quite diverse and I want to push it even further. Diversity helps us to be more artistic and brings in more ideas.”
Mark started in the company in the 80s as a dancer, at a time when Margaret Thatcher had Clause 28 active. He knows the struggle and doesn’t want anybody to dance in that kind of environment. Under his leadership, he not only raised the money for the new award-winning building on London’s South Bank but also encouraged collaborations with other art forms such as music and design. The New Zealander was inspired by his Fijian mother who would take him to the ballet as a child. That in combination with tribal dance and an education in contemporary art built the groundwork for Marks creativity and artistic vision he is known for today.
In collaboration with his team and Chief Executive/Executive Producer Helen Shute, Mark oversees everything, from the dancers, the repertoire to finding the right choreographers for the highly skilled dancers. “I always worry if my sexuality affects my artistic choices. But then on the other hand, if I wouldn’t allow it, there would be a bit missing. I am who I am and that’s part of it,” he says.
Rambert entered a new golden era, with the new building up, the dance company is reaching out, working closely with local communities touring its high-value production nationally and internationally. Last year’s tour included workshops, teaching over 15,000 people. “There is a hunger to be part of this. We want to make it look so open and for everybody so you can join in.” It is Rambert’s commitment to bring the best of the world of dance to the widest audience possible, sharing their values and ideas in form of great productions. With its great dancers and choreographers, the inclusive dance company is trying to inspire the next generation of artists. Mark says, “We recognise that the next generation needs someone to look up to who they can relate to, so they can be comfortable in their bodies and be who they are, so they can come up with their own dances and art.”
Ramberts highly skilled dancers come from all over the world and deliver world class performances. One of the dancers, Pierre Tappon started dance classes when he was 5 after his sister joined a local dance group in France. Speaking to him leaves no doubt about his profession. Every movement shows absolute body control and draws and captures one's attention. Following a daily routine of yoga and dancing, he is inspired by the opportunities Rambert has to offer. “Throughout the years I realised it's about trying new things. And that’s the great thing about Rambert. We have different choreographers that encourage us to be different and implement our own style.”
With award winning productions of the highest standard and the best contemporary dance has to offer and a leadership that promotes inclusiveness and diversity, Rambert is thriving. Mark says, “Art for me is not prodigious, it’s not homophobic and it’s not sexist. Every art form has a responsibility to touch on things. The powerful thing about contemporary art is that it has the capacity to mean everything and at the same time nothing at all.”
Rambert's is a corporate partner of myGwork.
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