Rambert Dance Company premieres at The Lowry, Salford
In November 2012, Mark Baldwin celebrates his tenth anniversary at the helm of Rambert Dance Company and becomes Rambert’s longest-serving Artistic Director, exceeded only by Marie Rambert herself.
During this time Mark has created five of his own works on the company, commissioned more than twenty five world premières from a selection of leading international choreographers and meticulously handpicked some of the best existent repertoire for the company, creating a rich and eclectic offering of contemporary dance that is unrivalled. This coming year Mark will lead Rambert into a new era as it prepares to move to a purpose built centre on the South Bank, placing the Company at the heart of the London arts scene, and creating an environment where the Company’s ambition for choreographic and music development can continue to flourish.
Labyrinth of Love will receive its world première at The Lowry in Salford on 10th October 2012, then tour to London, Plymouth, Bath, Stoke, Llandudno and Norwich.
Inspired by the love poems and prose of eight women - including Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Shelley, Sappho and with a nod to screen icon Elizabeth Taylor – Marguerite Donlon’s Labyrinth of Love aims to create a reflection of the bitterness, desire, longing, ecstasy, irony, tenderness, despair, hope, sadness and humour associated with the heart. It is set to a commissioned score by one of America’s most performed composers, Michael Daugherty, and accompanied live on stage by a soprano. Production design is by renowned visual artist Mat Collishaw and set and costume designer Conor Murphy.
Labyrinth of Love is Marguerite Donlon’s debut work for Rambert and her first large scale work in the UK. Marguerite is currently Director of Ballet at the Saarland State Theater, Germany (Donlon Dance Company) for whom recent successes include Giselle: Reloaded, Faust and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Previously Marguerite danced with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and English National Ballet and during this time she was coached by many world-renowned artists including Natalia Makarova, Rudolf Nureyev and Sir Kenneth MacMillan.
The score for Labyrinth of Love is written by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty, who first came to international attention for his symphony Metropolis and is cited by the League of American Orchestras as one of the ten most performed living American composers. Past scores have paid musical homage to icons of contemporary pop culture: Liberace, Elvis Presley, Jackie Onassis, even Barbie and Superman. The score was a joint commission between Rambert and Present Music, Wisconsin. The world première performance of the score was performed by Present Music ensemble on 15 June 2012, before making its European debut with Rambert in Salford.
It will be sung on alternate nights by sopranos Sarah Gabriel and Kirsty Hopkins. Sarah Gabriel has performed with London Sinfonietta, English National Opera and most recently, played the title role in My Fair Lady for Théâtre du Châtelet. Kirsty Hopkins performs as a soloist and consort singer all over the world, at venues including the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sydney Opera House and Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Mat Collishaw and Conor Murphy combine their unique skills for the production design. Collishaw is known for his shocking yet beautiful imagery, created primarily through photography and video. This will be his first work for a contemporary dance company. Conor Murphy is a set and costume designer whose work for opera, theatre and dance includes the Korean National Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Abbey Theatre, Dublin and Bristol Old Vic.
In addition, Rambert will perform the following repertoire as part of its Labyrinth of Love Tour 2012. A rare opportunity to enjoy the work of American choreographer, Paul Taylor, described by Martha Graham as the ‘naughty boy’ of dance. Serene, flowing and unexpected, Roses was first created in 1985 and set to music by Richard Wagner and Heinrich Baermann. Following the critically-acclaimed and multi award-nominated A Linha Curva, Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili returns with his high energy work, SUB, a battlefield of relentlessly sparring testosterone. Taut and muscular, this work for seven male dancers is set to the exuberant vigour of a string sextet.
The Labyrinth of Love Tour 2012 commences directly after the Company’s tour of Asia in September. This will be the Company’s first long-haul tour for over 8 years and is particularly significant for Rambert, who revisit China almost 60 years after they became the first ballet company from Britain to tour there.