Rambert at 90: looking back over two years of celebration

Rambert at 90 was a nationwide programme of activity led by the Rambert archive, celebrating the whole range of the company’s work.

The programme was commissioned to mark the company’s 90th anniversary and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund from 2016 to 2018.

Its ten wide-ranging strands involved more than 50 volunteers and 500 workshop participants, delivering projects online, in theatres, schools and communities, giving tens of thousands of people the opportunity to deepen their involvement with dance.

Rambert Performance Database

Providing access to nine decades of performance history, the Performance Database draws together a wealth of information about the company’s repertoire, performances, personnel, and tours.

Explore the database

Rambert Voices

36 people from eight decades of Rambert’s history were interviewed about their involvement in and experience of the company. The interviews provide valuable insights into Rambert’s history and the development of British dance in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Watch more interviews

Online programmes catalogue

More than 2,000 theatre programmes and related materials were digitised and have been made available online to view using ‘page-turning’ technology. Dating from 1926 to 1989, the programmes and other items cover Rambert’s tours in the UK and abroad.

Find the programme from your favourite performance

History infographic posters

More than 120 A Level students from 10 schools around England took part in workshops to devise nine infographic posters, one for each decade of Rambert’s history. Illustrating key works, events, and people in the decade, the infographics are freely available for use in the National Curriculum.

See all the posters

Young filmmakers’ documentaries

Four teams of young people from Lambeth and Southwark, aged 25 and under, made a short documentary about Rambert’s visit to a venue while on tour: Norwich Theatre Royal, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Theatre Royal Brighton, and Garsington Opera.

The videos include footage of class and rehearsals, interviews with key members of staff, and clips of archival films from the Rambert Archive. The teams were trained in film-making skills by project partner Iconic Steps, a social enterprise video training company.

Watch more videos

Online Galleries

Four online galleries are based on themes describing Rambert’s history, policies, and ideals. Each gallery contains photographs and images of artefacts from the archive.

Explore the galleries

Touring panels

At Sadler’s Wells

Four ‘pop-up’ panels went on tour with Rambert, each containing two images from different decades in the company’s history. The dancers in the images have poses that mirror each other, causing the viewer to ‘dance’ back and forth in front of them to see the images ‘move’.

Rambert Experience workshops

Three types of archive-based workshops were devised for families, older people, and healthcare settings. The workshops were held all around the UK in conjunction with venues on Rambert’s tour. Dance animateurs used an ‘archive suitcase’ full of surrogates of photographs, Marie Rambert’s diaries and letters, and other archival items – as well as original props from the company’s repertoire.

The items in the suitcase acted as stimuli for movement and creative tasks during the workshops. The suitcase had originally been used by one of Rambert’s dancers while on tour. Nearly 400 people, of all ages, participated in the workshops.

Perpetual Movement exhibition at The Lowry

A major exhibition at The Lowry, Salford, showcased a range of material from the Rambert Archive: manuscript notebooks, photographs, film/video footage, costumes and shoes, set maquettes, movement notation scores, and music scores. The title was taken from the first line of Marie Rambert’s autobiography: ‘Perpetual movement was my element’.

In addition to items from the archive, the exhibition featured four specially created artworks by international visual artists Goshka Macuga, Michaela Zimmer, Leila Johnston, and Katie Paterson.

A family gallery for children aged five and under, called Marie Rambert’s Silver Forest, recreated elements from her childhood and drew on historic moments from the company’s repertoire. For the family gallery, four students from UTC, a local further education college, created a short animation based on Rambert’s childhood.

Running from 29 October 2016 to 27 February 2017, the Perpetual Movement exhibition had a total of 19,000 visitors.

Vintage Rambert residency at The Lowry

In a week-long residency at The Lowry, a dance animateur worked with 26 local young dancers aged between 12 and 17. She carried out research in the Rambert Archive to devise the themes for the week and took surrogates of archive material for the young people to use. Together, they created a dance work called Timeless, which had two public performances in the Perpetual Movement galleries on 24 February 2018.

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