Rambert Dance Company: Cardoon Club / Monolith / Roses – Preview

Earlier this year we posted a photoblog about the Rambert Dance Company in rehearsal for Tim Rushton’s new piece Monolith. In time for tonight’s London premiere at Sadler’s Wells, where Tim’s work will be performed alongside Paul Taylor’s Roses and Henrietta Horn’s Cardoon Club, we recap on our Monolith feature, with this selection of production images and some interesting quotes from Rambert AD Mark Baldwin – outtakes from our chat back in February – on the task of programming the perfect mixed bill:

Click on the images for captions

Mark Baldwin on juggling the roles of Artistic Director & Choreographer:

MB: There were three Artistic Directors before me and they all dominated the repertoire, with their own work and I’ve been here 8 years and there is only 3 of my works. They’ve been important thought, I mustn’t ignore that, but it’s been a bit frustrating because I’m a choreographer but I didn’t want to do that to the company. It needs to have a repertoire to keep it interesting to the audience.

You can use [your creative streak] in different ways because the programmes have to be organised so that they have appeal to a London audience who want new ideas and to be challenged with new moves.

On programming the perfect mixed bill:

MB: We do two London seasons a year and basically, we are competing with the rest of the world, not like everyone else who comes every five to ten years, but we go every year twice, so that is a lot of interesting repertoire to get, and it has to be a balancing act. I always think of it a bit like a meal: first course, main course and pudding.

MB: The last programme for instance was supposed to be all females, a “girl programme”, but we couldn’t manage it because the license was about to run out for Christopher Bruce’s piece Hush, so we had to change it. It was going to be Aletta Colllins, Sue Davis and Henrietta Horn. There are few female choreographers in the company’s 85-year history and actually in the sector, there are very few so I thought that could be quite interesting.

Mixing and Matching:

MB: Tim’s piece is quite dark so we chose a Paul Taylor piece to lighten things up. It is set to Wagner, so it is very very lyrical and there aren’t many choreographies to extremely lyrical music. Taylor is 84 years old; he is the last of the great American Masters and he is really good at “entertainment stuff”, but Roses is quite different. It features six couples…

MB: …the girls are all in long dresses and the men are wearing T-shirts, vests and trousers. The male and female roles are very distinct, and it is unbelievably beautiful, exquisite music. It goes with the core of the evening, which is Monolith, with its emotional music.


See also: a clip of Cardoon Club

Photo Credits: Rambert Dance Company © Eric Richmond, © Chris Nash & © Hugo Glendinning

Rambert presents Cardoon Club, Monolith and Roses at Sadler’s Wells, London 24 – 28 May.

For more information visit Sadler’s Wells or Rambert websites, or follow Rambert Dance Company on Twitter @Rambertdance.

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).

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