Rambert launches search for new Chair as Sir Howard Panter steps down after 10 years in post

Rambert has begun the process of looking for its next Chair, to lead the Board of Directors and guide the work and development of the world-leading contemporary dance company. Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson have been appointed to manage the search for its next Chair on behalf of Rambert.

Sir Howard Panter

Rambert has evolved and grown under Sir Howard’s leadership, including in 2013 realising its long-held dream of moving to the company’s first ever purpose-built home – a state-of-the-art, £20m facility on London’s South Bank. This iconic building, which has become a vibrant hub both for Rambert’s permanent company of world class dancers and for the local community, is a fitting testament to Sir Howard’s outstanding contribution as Chair of Rambert.

Sir Howard announces his plan to stand down in the week that the company’s newest venture, Rambert2, makes its debut performances. Rambert2 is a world first – a professional touring ensemble of early career dancers whose work with Rambert forms part of a postgraduate qualification, developed in partnership with Rambert School.

Sir Howard also founded and endowed Rambert’s New Work Commissioning Fund, a fund dedicated to the creation of new, ambitious dance works, designed to enable to company to be, in his own, oft-repeated words: “bigger, bolder, better”.

Sir Howard leaves Rambert in a position of strength, with stable finances, long-term support from Arts Council England, and ambitious plans to expand the scale and reach of its work under the direction of Chief Executive/Executive Producer Helen Shute. The company today has 71 staff and a turnover of £4.5million. Rambert is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee, overseen by its non-executive board.

One of Sir Howard’s final tasks as Chair will be overseeing the appointment of a new Artistic Director for the company, succeeding Mark Baldwin who stood down earlier this year after a multi-award winning, 15-year tenure. There will be a series of interviews with shortlisted candidates during the autumn, and an appointment made at the start of 2019.

“It has been a privilege to lead Rambert for the past decade. I’m immensely proud of everything we’ve achieved, none of which would have been possible without the support of my fellow directors, the work of our brilliant and dedicated staff, and the generosity and commitment of our supporters. I’ll be handing over to my successor confident that even greater success lies in the future for this remarkable company.”

Sir Howard Panter

“Howard has transformed Rambert and created a 21st century dance company that can look to the future with ambition and confidence. I personally couldn’t be more grateful to have worked with such a passionate, inspirational and above all kind and supportive Chair. We’ll never stop doing what he showed us how to do - striving to be bigger, bolder, better.”

Rambert Chief Executive / Executive Producer Helen Shute

“Rambert has flourished over the last decade under Sir Howard Panter’s leadership. We thank him for his outstanding contribution to the organisation and for the legacy he has created for the benefit of artists and audiences – in England and world-wide.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

Sir Howard Panter is one of the country’s leading theatre impresarios, co-founder of Ambassador Theatre Group and currently joint-CEO of Trafalgar Entertainment. His association with Rambert stretches back several decades, and his time as Chair has been the apotheosis of a career supporting the development of contemporary dance in the UK, which began as a stage manager for the very first performance of London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1967.

Information for Chair candidates is available at rambert.org.uk/about-us/jobs-auditions/chair

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