Rambert Dance Company's Comedy of Change Tour Comes to Edinburgh

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.’ Charles Darwin


Comedy of Change Tour 2009 / www.rambert.org.uk

Live music played by Rambert Orchestra

Having received an Olivier Award nomination for the creation of Constant Speed in 2005, Mark Baldwin, Rambert’s Artistic Director, returns to the world of science to create his third major work for Rambert Dance Company. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and marking 150 years since the publication of his book On The Origin of Species, Mark Baldwin’s Comedy of Change appears at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 February.

As with the Russian impresario Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes 100 years ago, Mark Baldwin predicates his creative choices around collaborations between choreographers, composers and artists. Kick-started by Stephen Keynes, Darwin’s great-grandson and long-standing friend of Baldwin, Comedy of Change includes a specially commissioned score by renowned British composer Julian Anderson, with production design by the multifaceted French-Algerian artist, Kader Attia.

Composer – Julian Anderson: Julian Anderson has a natural connection with Darwin via his father Professor E S Anderson who was a celebrated micro-biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society. Darwin's theory is at the very root of the inspiration for this project – which is that all things change. Comedy of Change is Anderson’s third ballet with Mark Baldwin, The Bird Sings with its Fingers being the winner of the South Bank Show Award for the best New Dance Work of 2001, whilst Towards Poetry was part of a 1999 Royal Ballet tour. A strong interest in devising new forms of melody informs all his work. Influences are folk music of Eastern Europe and Russia, Stravinsky, and the French spectralists, and his mentors have included Alexander Goehr, Messiaen, Ligeti and Oliver Knussen (a particular champion of his music). Since 2002 he has run the Philharmonia's Music of Today series and he has been Composer in Residence at the CBSO as well as more recently the Cleveland Orchestra. His recordings have won prizes – most recently the Gramophone Award in 2007. He is about to embark on an opera for English National Opera.

Production Designer – Kader Attia: Born in Algeria, raised in Paris, and now based in Berlin, Kader Attia is an artist  who works in many mediums but focuses primarily on the difficulty of being an outsider in a politically and socially charged environment. His fascination with notions of survival and tenacity manifest themselves through contradiction. Absolute positive against negative – white as opposed to black – Muslim as opposed to Jewish. Reflective materials frequently appear in his work – demanding the viewer judge from their own standpoint first. He forces the viewer to think again about alternating approaches to situations of survival and faith. Spring ’09 saw Attia’s Ghost instillation exhibited at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

Scientific Advisor – Professor Nicky Clayton: Nicky Clayton is a fellow of Clare College and in 2005 became the youngest female professor ever appointed at Cambridge University. Nicky has always been fascinated by birds – by their glamour and elegance, their movement and rituals, their melodies and labours. Her studies focus on members of the crow family, including jackdaws, rooks and jays, challenging common-held assumptions that only humans can plan for the future and reminisce about the past. Her work has led to a radical re-evaluation of animal cognition and the evolution of cognition. Nicky’s expertise has proven an invaluable source of inspiration for the Comedy of Change creative team.

PAST and FUTURE, SAME but DIFFERENT, REVEAL and CONCEAL. Combining the fascinating and exuberant worlds of evolution and dance, Mark Baldwin creates Comedy of Change, a vigorous and beautiful new work. Courtship dances, display and nature’s use of camouflage are all enhanced with music and design by some of the best contemporary artists.

The programme also includes Hush, a lighthearted and affectionate look at family life by icon of British dance Christopher Bruce and Itzik Galili’s sensational samba-inspired A Linha Curva, which has wowed audiences wherever it has been seen.

‘As Britain’s leading contemporary dance company, Rambert Dance has long had the knack of mounting crowd-pleasing evenings of up-to-the minute work – and their new bill displays all their characteristic verve, charm and exuberance.’ Sarah Crompton, The Daily Telegraph – May ‘09


Combining the fascinating and exuberant worlds of evolution and dance, Mark Baldwin creates Comedy of Change, a vigorous and beautiful new work. Courtship dances, display and nature’s use of camouflage are all enhanced with music and design by some of the very best contemporary artists. The Comedy of Change received its concert première in Amsterdam on September 8 at the renowned Concertgebouw, by ASKO Ensemble (co-commissioners of the work) conducted by Oliver Knussen.

Choreography Mark Baldwin

Music Julian Anderson

Set Design Kader Attia

Costume Design Georg Meyer-Wiel

Lighting Design Michael Mannion



Christopher Bruce, one of Britain’s best-loved choreographers revives Hush, a light-hearted and affectionate celebration of family life. Critically acclaimed in America and the UK and set to music by Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma, this brilliant 2006 creation will lift your spirits and keep your toes tapping.

Choreography Christopher Bruce

Music Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma

Set and Costume Design Marian Bruce

Lighting Design Christina Giannelli


The chequer-board stage of Itzik Galili’s A Linha Curva is filled with rhythmic pulses and sexual tension, with irresistible samba-inspired lines and curves, blended with a Brazilian style and contemporary dance technique. This new version for Rambert by one of Israel’s most talented choreographers is a sensation and a real crowd pleaser.

Choreography Itzik Galili

Music Percossa (Holland)

Design and Lighting Design Itzik Galili

 Notes to Editors

 Rambert Dance Company is Britain’s premier contemporary dance company.

Constantly evolving to lead the way in 21st century dance, Rambert continues to build on its rich heritage to deliver performances full of ideas and passion. With an international reputation for excellence, the Company produces an unrivalled quantity of new work on the large-scale.

Rambert’s 22 dancers are considered to be some of the finest and most versatile in the world, meeting the challenge of performing a wide range of styles with precision and flair.

Under the award-winning artistic direction of Mark Baldwin, exciting and innovative programming is created through bold collaborations with composers, designers and visual artists. The Company believes in the power of live music to enrich the senses, and works with the Rambert Orchestra to present a variety of musical styles, adding another thrilling dimension to each performance.

Committed to developing dance for future generations, the Company seeks out and nurtures young and emerging choreographers, particularly from Rambert’s own dancers.

Rambert is a cosmopolitan company that reflects contemporary Britain. It is dedicated to diversifying and expanding its audiences, by touring nationally and overseas. The Company provides a vibrant and accessible dance experience, and is committed to engaging people of all ages through a programme of learning and participation.

Rambert Dance Company is proud to announce the launch of its own orchestra.

 Music Director Paul Hoskins said: ‘In recent years, Rambert Dance Company has seen the role of music become ever more central to our thinking and planning, under Artistic Director Mark Baldwin. After a very long and happy association, London Musici has decided to focus on different kinds of projects. I am very excited that our exceptional players will now come under the same roof as our wonderful dancers, and we all see this new arrangement as a logical and hugely beneficial step in Rambert’s evolution. The existence of Rambert Orchestra leads to all kinds of creative possibilities, and enhances our ambitious plans for the future.’

Press Night: Wednesday 17 February, 7.30pm

For further information and photographic images please contact:

Ruth Findlay, 0131 622 8088, press@eft.co.uk

Images can also be downloaded from www.rambert.org.uk

Please go to the press section and enter, email: press@rambert.org.uk

password: 1press


Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Wed 17 – Fri 19 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: £11.50 – £25.50

Box Office: 0131 529 6000


Contact: Ruth Findlay
Phone: 0131 622 8088
Email: press@eft.co.uk
Website: http://www.festivaltheatre.org.uk