Dame Marie Rambert

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RAMBERT, DAME MARIE (1888–1982), British ballet teacher and founder director of the Ballet Rambert. Born in Warsaw as Miriam Rambach, she studied eurythmics and was invited by Serge Diaghilev to teach in his company. While she influenced Diaghilev's most famous dancer, Nijinsky, in his choreographic work, she was herself won over to classical ballet, became a pupil of Enrico Cecchetti, the Italian ballet dancer and teacher, and followed his principles when she opened a school in London in 1920. By 1930 the school had developed into the Ballet Club which, as the Ballet Rambert, became famous for its performances at the Mercury Theater, a former parish hall at Notting Hill rebuilt by Rambert's husband, the author, Ashley Dukes. Rambert had a great flair for discovering new talent and inspired choreographers, designers, and dancers. She was the first to present a whole group of young dancers under British names, and she drew the public with ballets like A Tragedy of Fashion, Lilac Garden, Lady into Fox, and Death and the Maiden. In 1966 she became co-director with Nathan Morrice of the New Ballet Rambert Company. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1962.


W. Gore (ed.), Ballet Rambert 19261946 (Eng., 1946); L.J.H. Bradley, Sixteen Years of Ballet Rambert (1946); M. Clarke, Dancers of Mercury (1960); Haskell, in: Ballet (Eng., 1938), 137–41.

[Lewis Sowden]

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Rambert, Dame Marie (1888–1982) British ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer, b. Poland. She was a member (1912–13) of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, and was special adviser to Nijinsky in the first performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (1913). She founded her own school in 1920, which became known as Ballet Rambert in 1935.