News: Rambert's first Choreography Fellow appointed

Monday 6 June 2016 by Carmel Smith

Julie Cunningham (front) - at Resolution 2016, The Place. Photo: Chantal Guevara.

Award-winning dancer Julie Cunningham will join Rambert as the inaugural recipient of the Leverhulme Choreography Fellowship in September 2016.

‘I am thrilled to be accepting the Leverhulme Choreographic Fellowship,’ she said. ‘I am excited about the opportunities that will come from being involved with Rambert and look forward to delving into new challenges. The fellowship will offer me the time and space to develop my choreographic skills while collaborating and learning from people in the organisation and beyond.’

The fellowship programme, supported by a grant of £74,100 by the Leverhulme Trust, will help professional dancers make the transition to become full-time working choreographers. The first of three fellows to be appointed, Julie will spend a year working part-time with Rambert exploring and developing her choreographic practise.

Julie trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance before going on to dance with Ballett der Stadt Theater Koblenz, Germany, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, New York and the Michael Clark Company, London. In 2014 she received the Outstanding Modern Performance Award at the National Dance Awards for her work with the Michael Clark Company. She has also worked with Boris Charmatz as part of Musée de la Danse at Tate Modern, and at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw. A Merce Cunningham Trust fellow for 2016, Julie has assisted in staging Cunningham works for American Ballet Theatre. Julie’s choreographic work has been performed at the Merce Cunningham Studio New York, Dance Base Edinburgh, Tramway, Glasgow, Siobhan Davies Studios and The Place, London.

During her year-long fellowship with Rambert, Julie will have the opportunity to observe established choreographers creating large-scale work for Rambert’s repertoire, explore potential collaborations with practitioners working across different art forms, and use the company’s state of the art studio facilities for research and development. Julie will create work for Rambert’s dancers as part of the company’s New Choreography platform and will also have the chance to present work at Rambert’s studios to dance sector collegues and to the wider public. Throughout the fellowship, Julie will be supported by Rambert Artistic Director Mark Baldwin, Artistic Associate Peggy Olislaegers and other members of Rambert’s management team.

The Leverhulme Choreography Fellowship is a new addition to Rambert’s talent development programme that also includes a successful music fellowship and a long running choreographic development programme, nurturing emerging dance-makers from both within the company and the wider dance sector.

Julie was appointed by a panel consisting of Rambert Artistic Director Mark Baldwin; Director of Creative Projects Joce Giles; Music Director Paul Hoskins; Artistic Associate Peggy Olislaegers and Dance Umbrella Artistic Director and CEO Emma Gladstone. Further fellows will be appointed for 2017 and 2018.
Mark Baldwin said: ‘We were fortunate to have amazing people apply for the fellowship and the decision was very difficult. However, Julie came across as single-minded in her approach, the art and craft of choreography evident in everything she does. I am looking forward to working with Julie and delighted she will be joining us in September.’

Photo: Julie Cunningham (front) – at Resolution 2016, The Place – by Chantal Guevara.

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