Posted on February 26, 2018
Mark Baldwin is to step down as artistic director of Rambert, the contemporary dance company he has led since 2002. He is leaving to devote more time to his own choreography.
Born in Fiji and educated in New Zealand, Mark Baldwin joined Rambert as a dancer in 1983. After ten years working as an independent choreographer, he was appointed as the seventh artistic director in Rambert’s history. He has created eight works for the company during his directorship, including the Olivier award-nominated Constant Speed and his staging of Haydn’s The Creation, celebrating the company’s 90th anniversary. His commissions have included works from Karole Armitage, Javier De Frutos, Shobana Jeyasingh and Doug Varone. During his leadership, the company was won two Olivier awards, two TMA/UK Theatre Awards and 13 National Dance Awards.
Baldwin was the figurehead for the £20 million campaign to create the company’s first ever purpose-built home, its current facility on London’s South Bank, opening in 2014. He has overseen a growth in audiences and an extension of the company’s learning and participation activity. In 2016 to 2017, the company’s work reached more than 175,000 people, the biggest total in its 90-year history. In 2015, he was awarded an OBE for services to dance. Plans for appointing his successor will be announced shortly.
Baldwin said: “I am leaving a company in a very good position, with fantastic dancers and huge audiences. I feel I am leaving Rambert on a high.
“I am so proud to have moved Rambert into a new purpose-built facility on London’s South Bank and we are now launching Rambert2, a thrilling new junior company. Rambert and the Rambert School have never been closer.
“I have commissioned over 60 works, both new and revivals, for the Rambert dancers, who in my opinion have the richest embodied knowledge in the world. This is the beginning of my 16th year as artistic director, which is the longest stint of any artistic director of this company since Marie Rambert, and I think it is the perfect moment to hand over. I arrived as a choreographer and my heart tells me it is time to return to that.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single dancer, musician, conductor, crew, creative artist, support staff, learning and participation worker, fundraiser, CEO, choreographer, board member, Arts Council officer, wardrobe supervisor, physio, teacher, rehearsal director, stage hand, usher, costume maker, sound engineer, volunteer, archivist and audience member who have helped Rambert on this part of its artistic journey.”
Pictured, top: Mark Baldwin. Photograph: Nick Guttridge