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Press Release: Rambert's forthcoming April Premiere

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Rambert announce premiere of Rooms by Jo Strømgren April 8-11


Rambert announces a new live-stream commission from Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren to be streamed live on Rambert Home Studio across four performances from 8-11 April 2021 Rooms is set to be the first broadcast in a series of four new live-stream commissions for Rambert’s 2021 digital programme. It follows the success of the company’s 2020 livestream production Draw From Within (Wim Vandekeybus) which was described by the New York Times as ‘“like watching a movie, immersive and absorbing… easily the most technically sophisticated live dance production I’ve seen since theaters closed.” 



Jo Strømgren who - like Vandekeybus combines the skills of a choreographer with those of a cinematographer - has won prestigious awards for his work as film director. Also an established playwright his work spans over 150 productions performed in 64 countries. His new work for Rambert, Rooms is a witty and absurd mosaic of contrasting domestic scenes, choreographic styles and musical genres. Exploring themes such as urban tribalism, echo chambers and loneliness with Strømgren’s signature dark humour, the ambitious production sees 17 of Rambert’s dancers perform over 100 characters across 36 individual scenes.


Jo Stromgren comments on Rooms “Diversity is a bouquet of different colours and I love it, but I think the discussion has been limited to certain issues whereas diversity is so vast – diversity of age, diversity of social status, diversity of ethnicity, religion, politics. Rooms offers glimpses through the windows of different people’s lives, to create a kind of mosaic of the cityscape environment. Its like the unfinished narrative you create in your head as you pass by windows on a bike ride; you get to peek into people’s lives and you realise there is so much going on but you have no idea what is happening or why… I’d like to think that Rooms is funny as well as dark. I often set out with quite pessimistic ideas but somehow there’s always humour within the darkest of material”


Benoit Swan comments on the creation of Rooms: “Jo has a one-of-a-kind vision and he is a one-of-a-kind creator. It’s very different from what we’ve done before, and that was a deliberate move. I chose him specifically to bring out the diversity of the company, to draw out the singularities of each of the dancers and their own individual characteristics and styles. The fact that Jo is not only a choreographer, he is a playwright, a theatre director, a film director… all these different competencies serve to enrich a work.”


Initially developed as a response to the limitations of the pandemic and the closure of theatres, the Rambert Home Studio web platform has demonstrated huge stand-alone potential as a new creative medium to sit alongside the company’s proscenium arch programming. The platform also offers plenty of opportunities to engage with the company’s dancers including dancer interviews, behind the scenes and creation videos, podcasts and dancer-curated playlists. The live-stream productions blend dance, theatre and cinematography to offer something new and innovative to Rambert audiences as well as enabling the company to continue creating and performing during the pandemic. Rambert plans to make live-streams a permanent feature of future seasons complimenting its live theatre shows and offering variety and increased accessibility to its audiences.


The creation of Rooms is currently underway at Rambert’s Southbank studios where every effort is being taken to ensure the safety of dancers, crew and company. Repeated testing is taking place for all staff on a daily basis alongside social distancing measures and bubbles for the dancers.


In support of its valued touring partners, Rambert is sharing the income from ticket sales with regional theatres across the company. Audiences can buy directly from their local theatres and help support the regional arts economy. UK partnering theatres for Rambert’s 2021 digital dance programme include: Theatre Royal Bath, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Birmingham Hippodrome, The Lowry, Theatre Royal Nottingham, Norwich Theatre Royal, Oxford Playhouse, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Mayflower Theatre Southampton and Wales Millennium Centre.




Editors’ Notes


Rooms will be performed live from a purpose built set in Rambert’s Southbank studios and streamed in real time to ticketed audiences around the world.


£10 a ticket, £15 a household, £20 including a donation


Tickets are on sale now. For details on how to book please visit: rambert.org.uk


This is a real-time, ticketed performance and will only be viewable live at the exact time it is being performed and streamed.


Streamed live performances:


Thursday 8 April performance at 12pm BST

Friday 9 April performance at 8pm BST

Saturday 10 April performance at 8pm BST

Sunday 11 April performance at 1am BST


Benoit Swan Pouffer

Since taking on his role as Rambert’s new Artistic Director in December 2018, Benoit Swan Pouffer has been energised by a dynamic vision to turbo-charge Rambert’s presence on the world stage. He is committed to safeguarding the company’s impressive legacy of masterpieces as well as guiding it into the future with commissions that embrace established names such as Vandekeybus, Wayne McGregor and Hofesh Shechter as well as introducing exciting new choreographic and artistic talent from all over the globe. Benoit Swan is ambitious for Rambert’s Allies and Morrison-designed headquarters on London’s Southbank to develop into a recognisable dance destination.

An internationally-renowned dance artist and company leader, Benoit was born and trained in Paris. Moving to New York he spent seven years as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He is probably best known for his time as Artistic Director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a post he held from 2004. His 10 years at the helm of the company were described by the New York Times as “a New York success story”, gaining wide acclaim for introducing a new generation of international choreographers to US audiences and commissioning work from artists including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Ekman, Crystal Pite and Hofesh Shechter. As a choreographer Benoit Swan has made dance for feature films and Broadway, as well as creating for companies around the world including Alvin Ailey’s Ailey II.



We believe that to give brilliant and daring people the chance to inspire others is to give them the power to change the world for the better. As one of the world’s most diverse company of dancers we transform everyday spaces by making dance that is awe-inspiring, adventurous, dynamic and relevant, and taking it to our neighbourhood, the nation and the world. We want to hear the most exciting and radical ideas wherever they may come from and connect with brilliant and daring audiences and participants from all backgrounds. Through performances; dance and wellness classes and courses for people of all ages and abilities we want to ensure we are inspiring, engaging and relevant to everyone.


Jo Strømgren

Noweigian choreographer, film and theatre director Jo Strømgren trained as a classical ballet dancer. After a fruitful career in contemporary dance an injury prompted him to focus on choreography and theatre direction. Literary ambitions evolved and he began a steady career in playwriting, writing numerous scripts for plays and films. His work as a film director saw him awarded the prestigious Rose d’Or award. As a choreographer he has been commissioned by a wide range of companies – from classical to contemporary. As a theatre director he has mostly worked with national and municipal theatres in the Nordic region though he has also directed productions in USA, Germany, and Russia. Jo is artistic director of Jo Strømgren Kompani and currently House Choreographer at the Norwegian National Ballet. His CV covers more than 150 productions, most of them full evening works. His productions have been performed in 64 countries.

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