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Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (1920-)

Alternative name: Rambert School of Ballet Madame Rambert's School of Dancing, Rambert Academy Rambert School of Dancing, Ballet Rambert School
History: Dance school founded by Marie Rambert. In 1920, Marie Rambert gained her teaching certificate from Enrico Cecchetti and opened a school (or ‘studio’) in Bedford Gardens, Kensington. In 1927, her husband, Ashley Dukes, purchased Horbury Hall in Notting Hill Gate, and the school moved there. The school’s official opening reception on 10 March 1928 was covered in The Dancing Times. In 1931, Horbury Hall was partitioned in two, with one part for the school and the other made into a small theatre, which was named the Mercury Theatre in 1933 when it became licensed for public performances.: :At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the school evacuated to Burghclere near Newbury, with classes taught by Rambert’s daughter, Angela Ellis. When it was safe to return to London, the school moved back to the Notting Hill Gate premises. Ellis became the principal in the 1950s, running the school with her husband David Ellis. In 1955, the auditorium of the Mercury Theatre was partly dismantled to provide another studio for the school. It was known variously as the Rambert School of Ballet or the Rambert School of Dancing.: :David Ellis introduced student grants and formal education as part of the curriculum. Education was to GCE standard, and the tutorial college Davies’s Tutors supplied the teachers. Margaret Cockburn (BA Oxon.) was the headmistress. Fees were £58 per week for a 14-week term for education and ballet training. Lessons took place in a row of shops. The Education School closed in 1969 due to financial issues. In 1966, Clover Roope joined Rambert School to teach contemporary technique.: :By 1979, the vocational classes at the Rambert School needed better facilities than those at the Mercury Theatre, and so the school moved temporarily to The Place, sharing the premises with the London School of Contemporary Dance. (Children’s classes continued at the Mercury.) Angela Ellis retired as principal, but she remained as a member of the advisory committee for the Rambert School at The Place. Brigitte Kelly, who had taught at the school since 1959, became the principal. : :Meanwhile, the Rambert Academy was established at the West London Institute of Higher Education in Twickenham, with Gary Sherwood as principal. It became Ballet Rambert School in 1983. In 1985, Ross McKim became Principal and Artistic Director and subsequently changed its name to Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. A Levels were offered and grants covered costs.: :In 1995, the West London Institute became Brunel University College and was integrated into Brunel University two years later. Rambert School was at this time part of the Department of Creative and Performing Arts at the university.: :In 2003, Brunel sold the Twickenham campus, and Rambert School became an independent institution. In 2005, its foundation and BA (Hons) degree programme in ballet and contemporary dance were validated by the University of Kent, and it joined the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, a higher education consortium of leading dance and drama schools. In 2006, the school moved into two historic buildings in Twickenham: Clifton Lodge and the Violet Needham Chapel.: :In 2015, Amanda Britton became principal and artistic director. In 2018, the school launched a master’s degree in partnership with Rambert, validated by Kent University, in which students perform as Rambert2.

Performances

Date Dance Work Role Venue
11 Jun 1986
Evening
Soirée Musicale School Sadler's Wells Theatre, London
11 Jun 1986
Evening
Soirée Musicale School Sadler's Wells Theatre, London
Made by Palace