Britain’s national contemporary dance company Rambert has taken up residence in its new, £19.6million home in the heart of London’s South Bank. The state-of-the-art facility includes dance studios, treatment and body conditioning rooms, workshops, offices and an archive. It was designed by award-winning architects Allies and Morrison and built by VINCI Construction UK.
The new building, 12 years in the planning, is located on a site on Upper Ground owned by social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders. This land has been made available to Rambert in return for a commitment to provide a significant community dance programme in the local area, and for a peppercorn rent of one pair of ballet shoes a year. In a challenging economic environment, Rambert has successfully raised £12.6million from private sources, and an additional £7 million of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, which together have enabled the project to be realised.
Rambert’s new building is a place for making dance
The facility is purpose-built to nurture, develop and realise the creative visions of the best of today and tomorrow’s choreographers and dancers. It is equipped both for them and the huge range of collaborators who are drawn to working in dance: academics, composers, designers, dramaturges, musicians, technologists, visual artists, writers, and more. Its design opens up the creative process, giving visitors and passers-by insight into the work of a world-class dance company. The ambition is that the landmark dances for the next 100 years will be created in the building.
It gives dance a permanent home on London’s Southbank
Rambert will bring dance to the heart of one of the country’s most important cultural hubs. From this base, it will take its work to people throughout the country, with the most far-reaching touring programme of any British contemporary dance company. Over three-quarters of Rambert’s performances take place outside of London, in towns and cities throughout the UK, complemented by equally extensive education and community-based work.
It creates new opportunities for Rambert and its neighbours
Connections with the local neighbourhood will extend to all parts of the community. 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, both in person and online, as will the extensive archive of Britain’s oldest dance company.
It helps sustain the future of Britain’s oldest dance company
The new home will bring Rambert new revenue, with increased capacity for classes and facility hire. It employs green technologies to minimise the Company’s environmental impact. Along with such tangible benefits, 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.
Rambert in 2014
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.
Key dates for 2014
· Thu 6 – Sat 8 February: New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Revival premiere of Christopher Bruce’s Rooster
· Tue 20 – Sat 24 May: Sadler’s Wells, LondonRevival premiere of Lucinda Childs’s Four Elements
· Wed 24 – Fri 26 September: Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Premiere of Mark Baldwin’s new work
· Tue 18 – Sat 22 November: Sadler’s Wells, London
Premiere of new Shobana Jeyasingh work
The company’s touring plans for 2014 also include performances in Aberdeen, Brighton, Mold, Oxford, Newcastle, Bromley, Salford, Canterbury, Norwich, Llandudno and Edinburgh.
About Rambert’s new home
Rambert’s Artistic Director, Mark Baldwin, said:“I am so excited by the opportunities our new home offers - not just a building fit for purpose that our fabulous dancers can train and work in, but a laboratory ripe for creating new work, for collaboration with world class artists, and for generating new ideas. Every aspect of this building has been designed with the express purpose of laying bare the process of contemporary dance, allowing us to create an open house that will excite and inspire audiences. The time has come for dance to take its place on the South Bank among other prestigious arts organisations, and it seems fitting to me that Rambert, with its unique combination of heritage and pioneering vision, is the company to bring it here.”
Rambert’s Chief Executive, Nadia Stern, said:“Creating a new home for Rambert has been a huge collaborative effort from everyone involved, and it is testament to 12 years of dedicated work that we are now able to take up residency in this wonderful building. We could not have got here without the generous support and vision of Iain Tuckett at Coin Street Community Builders, the Arts Council England and all of our donors.”