About Mark Baldwin
4 and 5 star reviews for his revival of the Zulu ballet INALA, a Sisters Grimm production, with Soweto Gospel Choir - currently on a world tour.
2019 National Dance Awards, Critics Circle De Valois award for Outstanding Acheivement in Dance.
January 2019 Embodied Knowledge - first visual art exhibition at Bermondsey Project Space, London
Mark Baldwin was born in Lautoka, Fiji, in the South Pacific, and later raised and educated in New Zealand. Here he pursued a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, while studying both classical and contemporary dance.
He danced with Limbs Dance Company (founding member, choreographer) the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Australian Dance Theatre before joining London’s Ballet Rambert in 1979 appearing as Ferdinand in Glenn Tetley's production of Shakespeare's The Tempest and Richard Alston's Bell High before joining Rambert permanently in 1983. Ten years later, he left to become resident choreographer at Sadler’s Wells, where he established the Mark Baldwin Dance Company (1993 – 2001).
Mark created of over 40 works for both his own and other major dance companies, including: The Royal Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Scottish Ballet (resident choreographer 1996), London City Ballet, Cisne Negro (Brazil), Modern Dance Company of Argentina, Phoenix Dance Company, Staatsoper Berlin and Rambert.
The Mark Baldwin Dance Company performed nationally and internationally including Italy, France, Malaysia, Tunisia and Sardinia, and the company was presented by Dance Umbrella numerous times when resident at The Place Theatre.
He has received numerous awards:
- Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award (1992)
- Time Out Award for Dance (1995)
- Southbank Show Award for 'The Bird Sings With its Fingers' (2001)
- French Grand Prix Award for Film for ‘Echo’ (1996), a collaboration with visual artist Anish Kapoor and composer Brian Ellas
- Arts Council England Dance Artist Fellowship for Outstanding Contribution to Dance (2002)
- Director of Rambert 2002 - 2018, winning 15 Critics' Circle Awards, 5 Olivier nominations and two Olivier Awards with numerous other nominations.
- 2019 De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.
- 2019 Embodied Knowledge Mark's first solo visual art exhibition at Bermondsey Project Space London.
In December 2002, Mark returned to Rambert as Artistic Director, where he realised his vision to encourage collaborations with other art forms. Critically praised for reinvigorating the Company and its repertoire, Mark continued to commission new works by numerous British and international choreographers, composers and visual artists, including: Gerhard Richter, Kadir Attia, Pablo Bronstein and Michael Howells, as well premiering his own work.
This work, and the high calibre of his artistic directorship, won him the TMA Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance. His re-staging of Michael Clark’s 'Swamp' won an Olivier Award, and another Olivier was won for a whole year of audience and critically acclaimed work.
Mark commissioned over sixty works whilst Artistic Director of Rambert. As a choreographer he has been commissioned by both contemporary and classical ballet companies, distinguishing himself uniquely by working with, among others:
Lady Smith Black Mambazo.
Soweto Gospel Choir (currently on a world tour)
The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Split Enz and Te Matarae-e-o-Orehu
Modern Dance Company Turkey
Mark has recently taught master-class workshops in Japan, Colombia and Singapore.
In 2012 the Polish Sergei Diaghilev International Association for the Promotion of Choreographic Art awarded Mark the Honorary Amber Faun for outstanding achievement in choreographic art, and the development of dance in the UK.
Other pieces of merit conceived and choreographed by Mark include:
The Bird Sings With It's Fingers, Mark Baldwin Dance Company music by Julian Anderson.
Towards Poetry for The Royal Ballet staring Darcey Bussell with music by Julian Anderson.
Labyrinth for StaatsOper Ballet Berlin, music by Hans Werner Henze, set and costumes by Anish Kapoor.
Ae Fond Kiss for Scottish Ballet, music Stravinsky The Fairy's Kiss.
Banter Banter for Rambert music by Stravinsky, costumes by Issey Miyake.
Constant Speed commissioned by the Institute of Physics for Rambert music by Lehar.
Eternal Light for Rambert music by Howard Goodall.
The Wedding, Royal New Zealand Ballet, written by Whiti Ihimaera.
Comedy of Change with artist Kader Attia, music by Julian Anderson.
Seven For a Secret Never to be Told for Rambert with designs by Michael Howells.
What Wild Ecstasy for Rambert, Olympiad commission with music by Gavin Higgins.
The Strange Charm of Mother Nature for Rambert existing music by Bach, Stravinsky with original score by Cheryl Frances- Hoad, costumes by Stevie Stewart and Mark Baldwin.
Dark Arteries for Rambert original music by Gavin Higgins, set design Michael Howells, costumes by Stevie Stewart.
Not a Cloud in the Sky for Saarland State Theater, Saarbrücken Germany. Music; Mahler 4th Symphony,
M is For Man for Dance Groep Amsterdam, music by Louis Andriessen, costumes by Michael Howells.
Perhaps his seminal work is Haydn’s oratorio The Creation, bringing together the Garsington Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the dancers of Rambert, students from the Rambert school and, later, The BBC Singers (Filmed by Ross MacGibbon for BBC The Space).
Mark has a deep affiliation with music, and is one of the few choreographers in the world committed to aligning dance with classical and contemporary music scores. This has allowed him to be able to work with composers, orchestras, rock bands and indigenous groups, indeed a diverse range.
His indigenous Fijian roots also play an important part in his approach to dance, which uses both grounded and jumping elements as part of his rich movement vocabulary, often putting the dancer at the core of the work, allowing them to be co-creators in his process.
Mark believes that his repeated improvisation (dancing and picture making) to the score(s) take him deeper into the physicality, musicality and structure of the music upon which he can build richness, atmosphere and emotionality inviting the audience to hear and see the music afresh.
In 2016, was awarded an OBE for his service to dance.