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Christopher Bruce

Born in Leicester, England, 3 October 1945. Studied at Benson Stage Academy, Scarborough, and at the Ballet Rambert School, London. Career Dancing debut with Walter Gore’s London Ballet, 1963; Joined Ballet Rambert in 1963, becoming leading dancer in modern roles, from 1966; choreographer for Ballet Rambert (which became Rambert Dance Company in 1987), from 1969, becoming associate choreographer, 1975–87, and associate director, 1975–79; associate choreographer for London Festival Ballet (becoming English National Ballet in 1989), 1986–91; resident choreographer, Houston Ballet, 1989-98; then associate choreographer until present day; artistic director, Rambert Dance Company, from April 1994 to December 2002. Has also staged works for The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, Munich Opera Ballet, Gulbenkian Ballet Company, Australian Dance Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Tanz-Forum (Cologne), Nederlands Dans Theater, Geneva Ballet, Culberg Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Basle Ballet, Ballet Krefeld-Mönchengladbach, Ballet Mainz, Deutche Ballet Berlin, Dusseldorf Ballet, Kiel Ballet, Canadian National Ballet, Ballet Gyor; The Washington Ballet, Alabama Ballet. Has worked as choreographer/producer of operas, musicals, and television programmes. Awards include Evening Standard Award, 1974 and 1997; Prix Italia (for Television Production of Cruel Garden), 1982; International Theatre Institute Award for Excellence in International Dance, 1993; De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance at Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, 2003; Rheinische Post Theater Oscar for ‘A Evening of Work by Christopher Bruce’ at Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach 2004; Best Choreography, Critics’ Circle Awards, 2009. Christopher Bruce was awarded a C.B E in 1998; Honorary Doctor of Art from De Montfort University, 2000; Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Exeter, 2001; Honorary Life Membership of Amnesty International, 2002. Honorary Visiting Professor, Exeter University 2009. Works George Frideric (1969), Living Space (1969), Wings (1970), for these who die as cattle (1972), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (musical by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, 1972), There Was a Time (1973), Duets (1973), Weekend (1974), Unfamiliar Playground (1974), Jeeves (musical by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, 1975), Ancient Voices of Children (1975), Voices (1976), Black Angels (1976), Girl with Straw Hat (1976), Promenade (1976), Echoes of a Night Sky (1976), Cruel Garden (with Lindsey Kemp, 1977), Responses (1977), Labyrinth (1979), Night with Waning Moon (1979), Sidewalk (1979), Interactions (1980), Il ballo del Ingrate (opera by Monteverdi, 1980), Venus and Adonis (1980), Preludes and Songs (1980), Dancing Day (1981), Cantata (1981), Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (opera by Monteverdi, 1981), Ghost Dances (1981), Holiday Sketches (1981), Village Songs (1981), Agrippina (opera by Hande1, 1982), Berlin Requiem (1982), In Alium (1982), Concertino (1983), Curses and Blessings (with Jirí Kylián, 1983), Silence is the End of Our Song (1983), Intimate Pages (1984), Sergeant Early’s Dream (1984), Remembered Dances (1985), Mutiny (musical by David Essex, 1985), Land (1985), Ceremonies (1986), The World Again (1986), The Dream is Over (1986), The Winter’s Tale (play by Shakespeare, 1987), Swansong (1987), The Changeling (play by Thomas Middleton, 1988), Song (1988), Gautama Buddha (1989), Les Noces (1989), Symphony in Three Movements (1989), Journey (1990), Rooster (1991), Nature Dances (1992), Kingdom (1993), Moonshine (1993), Waiting (1993), Crossing (1994), Meeting Point (1995), Quicksilver (1996), Stream (1996), Four Scenes (1998), God’s Plenty (1999), Hurricane (2000), Grinning in Your Face (2001), Cyrano de Bergerac (play by Edmond Rostand, 2004), Three Songs, Two Voices (2005), A Steel Garden (2005), Hush (2006), Shift (2007). Dance at the Crossroads (2007), Ten Poems (2009), Fur Alina (2011) Further reading Interviews in ‘Curtain Up’, Dance and Dancers, June 1986; with Ann Nugent, in ‘Waiting with Certainty’, Dance Now, Autumn 1993; in Jo Butterworth and Gill Clarke (eds.), Dancemakers’ Portfolio: Conversations with Choreographers, Bretton Hall, 1998. Articles Charles Gow, ‘Christopher Bruce’, Dancing Times, March 1973; Noël Goodwin, ‘Elegiac Images’, Dance and Dancers, September 1975; David Dougill, ‘Where Bruce Gets His Ideas From’, Classical Music, 2 October 1976; Noël Goodwin, ‘Shadows and Substances’, Dance and Dancers, September 1981; Nadine Meisner, ‘A Dream by the Ocean’, Dance and Dancers, December 1984; Sophie Constanti, ‘Ballet Rambert’, Dance Theatre Journal, Summer 1985; Sophie Constanti, ‘London Festival Ballet and Christopher Bruce’, Dancing Times, July 1988; Kathrine Sorley Walker, ‘Violence and Poetry’, Dance and Dancers, August 1988; Angela Kane, ‘Christopher Bruce’s Choreography: Inroads or Re-Tracing Old Steps?’, Dancing Times, October 1991; Christopher Bruce, ‘There’s Always an Idea’, Dance and Dancers, January 1993; Ann Nugent, ‘Waiting with Certainty, Dance Now, Autumn 1993; Christopher Bruce, ‘The Christopher Bruce Manifesto’, Dancing Times, November 1994; Judith Mackrell, ‘Mission – Impossible?’, Dance Now, Autumn 1995; Kathrine Sorley Walker, ‘Christopher Bruce and Rambert Dance Company’, Dancing Times, July 1996; Josephine Leask, ‘Diversity in Unity: Rambert Dance Company Celebrates Its 70th Birthday’, Ballett International, 7, 1996. Books Richard Austin, The Birth of a Ballet, London, 1976; Clement Crisp, Anya Sainsbury, and Peter Williams, Ballet Rambert: 50 Years and On, London, 1981; John Percival, Modern Ballet, London, 1981; Peter Brinson and Clement Crisp, The Pan Book of Ballet and Dance, London, 1981; Allen Robertson and Donald Hutera, The Dance Handbook, Harlow, Essex, 1988; Jane Pritchard, Rambert. A Celebration, London, 1996; Jane Pritchard, Swansong Study Notes, London, 1998.

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