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Rambert Dance Company visits the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 8 November to Saturday 10 November to present a thrilling programme featuring Marguerite Donlon’s brand new work Labyrinth of Love, alongside Merce Cunningham’s exuberant 1975 Sounddance, paired with the sharp and witty Dutiful Ducks by Richard Alston. Completing the programme is the brutal and seductive Elysian Fields by ground-breaking choreographer Javier De Frutos.

As Artistic Director Mark Baldwin celebrates 10 years at the helm of Rambert, the company makes a welcome return to Bath with a wonderfully diverse performance by Britain’s national company for contemporary dance featuring live music from the Rambert Orchestra and the exquisite voice of soprano Kirsty Hopkins.

Powerful, heart-breaking and comical, Marguerite Donlon’s Labyrinth of Love reveals the joy and pain of love in all its glory. Her choreography captures not only the romantic moments of love but its humour and surprise. Inspired by the love poems and prose of seven women – including Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Shelley and with a nod to screen icon Elizabeth Taylor – Labyrinth of Love aims to create a reflection of the desire, longing, ecstasy, irony, tenderness, bitterness, despair, sadness, fun and hope associated with the heart. It is set to a commissioned score by one of America’s most performed composers, Michael Daugherty, and accompanied live on stage by international soprano, Kirsty Hopkins.

Labyrinth of Love is Marguerite Donlon’s debut work for Rambert and her first large scale work in the UK. Marguerite is currently Director of Ballet at the Saarländischen Staatstheater, Germany (Donlon Dance Company). Previously she danced with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and English National Ballet, and was coached by many world-renowned artists including Rudolf Nureyev and Sir Kenneth MacMillan.

The score for Labyrinth of Love is written by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty, who first came to international attention for his symphony Metropolis and is cited by the League of American Orchestras as one of the 10 most performed living American composers.

Continuing Rambert’s relationship with the Merce Cunningham Trust, the Company will also stage the UK revival première of Sounddance.  Originally made in 1975, by the late master of contemporary dance, Merce Cunningham, this work was inspired by the words of James Joyce. A vigorous and complex look at the minutiae of life, it takes its title from Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. The piece will be staged for Rambert by Jeannie Steele, a former dancer with Merce Cunningham Dance Company and one of only a select few approved to teach Cunningham’s work. Sounddance was last performed in the UK in 1980 by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and Rambert is the first Company in the world to be granted the license to perform this work.

In addition, the dancers will perform Elysian Fields by ground-breaking choreographer Javier De Frutos. His brutal and seductive new work is set to the score from A Streetcar Named Desire and inspired by the life and work of its author, who once said ‘dance was perhaps the last destination where poetry could find a homeland’. Elysian Fields is a poetic incantation to Tennessee Williams and commemorates his centenary year.  Completing the programme is Dutiful Ducks, using Charles Amirkhanian’s tongue-twisting sound-text of the same name as a starting point. Sharp and witty, Richard Alston’s short solo was first created for Michael Clark in 1982.

This November Mark Baldwin celebrates his 10th anniversary at the helm of Rambert Dance Company and becomes Rambert’s longest-serving Artistic Director, exceeded only by Marie Rambert herself. During this time Mark has created 5 of his own works for the Company, commissioned more than 25 world premières from leading international choreographers and handpicked some of the best existent repertoire for the Company, creating an eclectic offering of contemporary dance that is unrivalled. This year Mark leads Rambert into a new era as it prepares to move to a purpose built centre on the South Bank, at the heart of the London arts scene.

The Labyrinth of Love Tour 2012 commenced directly after Rambert’s tour of Asia in September, the Company’s first long-haul tour for over 8 years. This was particularly significant for Rambert, as it marked their return to China almost 60 years after they were the first ballet company from Britain to tour there.

 

RAMBERT DANCE COMPANY’s Labyrinth of Love Tour 2012 appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Thursday 8 November to Saturday 10 November.  Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk