Britain’s national contemporary dance company Rambert has taken up residence in its new home on London’s South Bank, which includes dance studios, treatment and body conditioning rooms, workshops, offices and an archive. The location has been made available to Rambert by Coin Street Community Builders in return for a commitment to provide a significant community dance programme in the local area, and for a rent of one pair of ballet shoes a year. The facility will nurture, develop and realise the creative visions of the best of today and tomorrow’s choreographers and dancers; the ambition is that the landmark dances for the next 100 years will be created in the building, therefore giving dance a permanent home on the South Bank
Rambert will take its work to people throughout the UK, with the most far-reaching touring programme of any British contemporary dance company. Currently over three-quarters of Rambert’s performances take place outside of London, complemented by equally extensive education and community-based work. Closer to home, the new premises will hold connections with the local neighbourhood. People of all ages and abilities will be welcomed into the building to join in dance classes, and the daily activity of the building will be opened up to visitors, as will the extensive archive of Britain’s oldest dance company. The hope is that everyone who comes into the building will be inspired with confidence and ambition for Rambert’s future as Britain’s national contemporary dance company.
During the first year in its new building, Rambert’s home will be a hub for making new works, restaging classic repertory, creative collaborations and community engagement. Plans include, three new large-scale commissions for the company (Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Shobana Jeyasingh – one of the UK’s foremost independent choreographers – and Alexander Whitley, a former Rambert dancer recently appointed associate artist with the company. Two classic works from Rambert’s past repertoire will be revived, namely Christopher Bruce’s iconic Rooster, first performed by Rambert in 1994 and last revived in 2001, and Four Elements, a 1990 commission for Rambert by celebrated US choreographer Lucinda Childs.
Rambert’s new home is the first major, purpose-built dance facility to open in London for 10 years. The building’s three main studios have been named the Marie Rambert Studio, after the company’s founder; the Mercury Studio, acknowledging the Mercury Theatre, the company’s first home; and the Anya Linden Studio, in recognition of the generous contribution to the fundraising campaign from two of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts: Monument Trust and Linbury Trust. The Marie Rambert studio is 306.75 square metres – the equivalent size of the stage at Sadler’s Wells which is the largest theatre space the Company regularly tours to.