Rambert is a name that is familiar to many people across the country; some still refer to it as ‘Ballet Rambert’ even though the Company has not officially used that name since 1987. Others have a vague notion of the Company’s work and some just know they have heard the name before.
Coming from a dance background and being a dance enthusiast it was a name that I knew well and it jumped out at me when I saw the Transforming Archives traineeship advertised on Facebook. I was looking for a new direction; I’d become interested in oral history whilst working as a volunteer for a heritage project and I love Rambert. I didn’t hesitate in making my application.
I began my traineeship in October 2015 with a keen interest in dance and dance history but with very little experience of archives. I was soon to discover that an archive is so much more than a place where collected ‘stuff’ is held and preserved.
The Rambert Archive is the first performing arts archive to be awarded accreditation by the National Archives. It documents the unique history of Britain’s national dance company and traces the development of British dance. Rambert was formed as a ballet company by Marie Rambert in 1926 and transformed into a contemporary dance company in 1966. Preserved in the archive are administrative records, costumes, designs for set and costumes, film footage and photographs, music and notation scores, programmes, posters… the list goes on. Continue reading »