The lecture is the author’s story about Madam Marie Rambert from his perspective
as former Rambert’s artistic director in years 2002-2018.
Mark Baldwin was born in Lautoka, Fiji, in the South Pacific, and later raised and educated
in New Zealand. Here he pursued a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland,
erstwhile studying both classical and contemporary dance.
He danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and first gained public attention
as a dancer, choreographer and founding member of New Zealand’s iconic Limbs Dance
Company (1977 – 1989) before joining London’s Ballet Rambert in 1983. 10 years
later, he left to become resident choreographer at Sadler’s Wells, where he established
the Mark Baldwin Dance Company (1993 – 2001).
Mark’s unique talent led to the creation of over 40 works, for other major dance
companies in addition to his own, including: The Royal Ballet, Royal New Zealand
Ballet, Berlin Staats Oper, Scottish Ballet, London City Ballet, Cisne Negro San Paolo,
Phoenix Dance Company and Rambert. He has received numerous awards, including
the Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award (1992), the 1995 Time Out Award for Dance,
and the Southbank Show Award for The Bird Sings With its Fingers (2001). In 1996,
he received the French Grand Prix Award for Film for ‘Echo’, collaboration with visual
artist Anish Kapoor and composer Brian Ellas, and the Dance Artist Fellowship
for Outstanding Contribution to Dance in 2002.
In December 2002, Mark returned to Rambert as Artistic Director. His vision since
then has been to encourage collaborations with other art forms. Critically praised for
reinvigorating the Rambert and its repertoire, Mark continued to commission new works
by numerous British and international choreographers, as well developing as his own
work. This work, and the high calibre of his artistic directorship, won him the TMA
Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. His restaging of Michael Clark’s
Swamp won an Olivier Award, with another being awarded for an outstanding year
of premiers that were programmed for Rambert.
Other pieces of merit by Mark include: Olivier nominated Constant Speed, The Comedy
of Change, Seven For a Secret Never to be Told, the Olympiad commission What Wild
Ecstasy, The Strange Charm of Mother Nature, Dark Arteries (commemorating the miners’
strike 1984/85) with local brass bands throughout Britain, and his seminal work, Haydn’s
oratorio The Creation, featuring the Garsington Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the dancers
of Rambert and students from the Rambert school.
As Artistic Director of Rambert Mark commissioned over 60 works as well as developing
new composer and choreographer residences and the moving of the company into new
award winning bespoke building on London’s South Bank.
In 2012, Sergei Diaghilev International Association for the Promotion of Choreographic
Art awarded Mark the Honorary Amber Faun for outstanding achievement
in choreographic art, and the development of dance in the UK. He was appointed OBE
in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours and in 2018 the De Valois Award for Outstanding
Achievement from the Critic’s Circle.
The Mark Baldwin Studios was set up to promote and support his independent projects,
of which Inala has been very important and which he describes as “Close to my heart’.