Dance Ambassador Alex Speake recently went down to visit Rambert in their home on London’s South Bank – here is what she discovered about the vast archive Rambert house there…
The Rambert archive is entirely unique. A vast collection of artifacts that show the evolution of British dance with resources dating all the way back to 1926. It shows the evolution of British dance, through the eyes of the dance company and not its audience – giving a ‘behind the scenes’ feel to the story it tells, as well as allowing the personal characteristics of key people in its history to flourish.
The collections contain a multitude of different items that are used to document their own development in thorough detail. It contains thousands of images dating back to the mid-twenties, posters and leaflets from dance performances by the company, choreographic notes, music scores, set and lighting designs and the odd artifact that you would never expect. One of the most obscure items we viewed was a box containing Marie Rambert’s own hair, with a message from her noting how well it had kept over the years.
One of the most striking things to me was how accessible the archive was. Arike Oke, the archivist who was showing us the artifacts, explained that the archive and its contents were able to be viewed by anyone for free, whether it be for educational or enjoyment purpose.