Celebrating our volunteers

On Thursday 1st June we held a special event to thank our volunteers at Rambert for their hard work, commitment and patience in helping us achieve the company’s vision for its 90th-anniversary celebrations.  We had a full day of activities and speakers, starting with a visit to the studios to watch the Rambert dancers take their morning class with Senior Rehearsal Director Mikaela Polley.

Rambert was awarded a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund in 2016 to mark the company’s 90th anniversary with a nationwide programme of activity celebrating the company’s work and touring history. Central to the legacy of this project are an online performance database, online digitised programmes to be made available to the public, and Rambert Voices, an oral history project of filmed interviews with key figures from Rambert’s history.

To realise the full potential of these projects in the time we had, we recruited over 50 volunteers to support us, including Rambert fans from towns and cities where Rambert tours and participants in our regular dance learning programmes such as Mercury Movers.

The volunteers tour the archive with Archive Trainee Georgina Donohue

Our volunteers help in many ways but the two vital tasks they have undertaken are transcribing audio for the Rambert Voices project and gathering data for the performance database. The oral history transcripts have been used for subtitling and ensuring we have a written record of these wonderfully special accounts. These volunteers and those entering details into the performance database have been working from home, all over the country. Volunteers local to our South Bank premises extracted information from programmes in our Archive stretching back nine decades and provided invaluable assistance in researching and preparing information to send to the remote volunteers.

Rambert values the time and commitment our volunteers offer us and when we can help in some way we are always pleased to do so. We were delighted to welcome an exhibition in our Archive by volunteer Sally Garrett, who was studying design as part of her Master’s and makes the most beautiful porcelain ballet shoes and silk scarves. With the help of the Rambert reception staff Sally arranged an evening opening of her work where her guests were thrilled to see such an interesting and delightful exhibition.

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