News: Rambert - new Associates, leavers and joiners

Wednesday 31 July 2013 by Carmel Smith

Clockwise, from top left: Angela Towler, Robin Gladwin, Pieter Symonds, Alexander Whitley. Photos: Simon Weir.

In a few months Rambert will be moving in to their new purpose built home on the Southbank and with the additional resources that it will offer in mind have announced that they are bringing two associate companies under their wing. Rambert is well known as a developing ground for new choreographic talent and several members of New Movement Collective and Alexander Whitley have been dancers with the company for some time. New Movement Collective (Whitley is also a member) have just finished a highly successful run of Nest – a site specific work they developed for the old Welsh chapel at 136, Shaftesbury Avenue (once the home of the Limelight Club –and soon to be a new venue for performing arts) and Alexander Whitley, already an Affiliate Choreographer of the Royal Ballet and a New Wave Associate at Sadler’s Wells, as well as a one time dancer with Rambert, Michael Clark Company, Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, amongst others, is definitely one to watch. A commission for a new work for Rambert in 2015 is likely.

Rambert have also announced some other changes. Angela Towler will be making her swan song performances as The Nymph in L’Apres midi d’une faune during the autumn tour, before taking on a new role in the company as Rehearsal Director, alongside Senior Rehearsal Director, Mikaela Polley. Angela joined the company in 1999 and has danced many leading roles including Merce Cunningham’s Pond Way, for which she received a nomination for the TMA award for Achievement in Dance.

Pieter Symonds, who joined the company in 2004, has retired from dancing but will continue to work on the Pilates programme in the new building. She is also training as a nutritionist and is in the process of establishing her own practice for health and well-being.

Robin Gladwin leaves the company after 12 years to dance with New Adventures in the national tour of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. He joined as an apprentice in 2001 and has spent the whole of his professional career to date with Rambert – an association which will continue, as he is also a member of New Movement Collective.

Dancers joining the company for the new season include Lucy Balfour, a former principal dancer from the Royal New Zealand Ballet; Caroline Bolton from South Carolina USA, currently working as a freelance dancer in Switzerland; Simone Damberg Würtz who trained at the Royal Danish Ballet School and has been working with Peter Schaufuss Ballet and Theater Ulm; Pierre Tappon currently dancing with Richard Alston Dance Company and Luke Ahmet, soloist with Scottish Ballet. Rambert apprentice Jon Savage has also been given a permanent contract.

Behind the scenes, Director of Marketing Craig Titley is moving on after seven years – he will be replaced by Tim Wood, currently Communications Director at The Place and also Vice Chair of the Arts Marketing Association.

Photos: clockwise from top left: Angela Towler, Robin Gladwin, Pieter Symonds, Alexander Whitley – by Simon Weir.

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