Mark Baldwin

Festival Photographer

Hello, 

It has been a while since I last posted, which just means I have more images to share! Over the past (slightly more than a) month I have been busy attending dance performances, festivals, photocalls in addition to an important and sentimental event.

I am very happy to share that I have just finished working with the Birmingham International Dance Festival, photographing official images for the festival. Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF) is an award-winning biennial festival presenting a vibrant programme of international dance in venues and public spaces across Birmingham throughout June. I had a great time photographing and watching so much high-quality dance, most of which was free! Here’s a collage of some of my favourites from the festival.

Images from  Birmingham International Dance Festival .

Images from Birmingham International Dance Festival.

Next up I was at Rambert to attend and photograph my old boss and ex-artistic director Mark Baldwin’s farewell party. Mark offered me a job as an apprentice dancer back in 2010, and it was his decision that has shaped me not only as a dancer but as a photographer and a person. I owe him a great deal, and I was honoured to photograph this event on his behalf.

Mark Baldwin 's gives a speech at his own Farewell Party at  Rambert .

Mark Baldwin's gives a speech at his own Farewell Party at Rambert.

Angela Towler  hits the catwalk during  Mark Baldwin 's farewell party.

Angela Towler hits the catwalk during Mark Baldwin's farewell party.

Brenda Lee Grech  hits the catwalk during  Mark Baldwin 's farewell party.

Brenda Lee Grech hits the catwalk during Mark Baldwin's farewell party.

Mark Baldwin  poses with the Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club during his Farewell Party at  Rambert .

Mark Baldwin poses with the Ngāti Rānana London Māori Club during his Farewell Party at Rambert.

Next I joined Arielle Smith and her company at the Rosemary Branch Theatre to capture promotional images ahead of their performances of Lots of Varied Expectations. On the day I worked with two of the company dancers capturing portraits using movement from the work. It was a lovely afternoon spent with the company, and we were really happy with the results.

 
Arielle Smith  dancer  Inês Pinheiro  during the new full length work  Lots of Varied Expectations  choreographed by  Arielle Smith . 

Arielle Smith dancer Inês Pinheiro during the new full length work Lots of Varied Expectations choreographed by Arielle Smith

 

Lastly and most recently I attended Sadler’s Wells for two photocalls capturing galleries from a couple Europe’s top dance companies, SemperOper Ballett and Nederlands Dans Theater 1. First SemperOper Ballett visited to perform their evening of works, All Forsythe. As you might expect all the pieces were choreographed by William Forsythe, who if you don’t know, is a global choreographic superstar! SemperOper Ballett are a very gifted company. I haven’t seen such a slick, well rehearsed and wonderfully executed evening of work in a long time. To see the full gallery of All Forsythe click the link the button below.

Thomas Bieszka  and  Svetlana Gileva  of  SemperOper Ballett  perform  In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated  choreographed by  William Forsythe.

Thomas Bieszka and Svetlana Gileva of SemperOper Ballett perform In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated choreographed by William Forsythe.

Aidan Gibson  and  Casey Ouzounis  of  SemperOper Ballett  perform  Neue Suite  choreographed by  William Forsythe .

Aidan Gibson and Casey Ouzounis of SemperOper Ballett perform Neue Suite choreographed by William Forsythe.

Skyler Maxey-Wert  of  SemperOper Ballett  performs  Enemy in the Figure  choreographed by  William Forsythe .

Skyler Maxey-Wert of SemperOper Ballett performs Enemy in the Figure choreographed by William Forsythe.

Natsuki Yamada  and  Houston Thomas  of  SemperOper Ballett  perform  In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated  choreographed by  William Forsythe.

Natsuki Yamada and Houston Thomas of SemperOper Ballett perform In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated choreographed by William Forsythe.

Then came Nederlands Dans Theater 1 or NDT1 performing Stop Motion choreographed by both Sol León and Paul Lightfoot and The Statement choreographed by Crystal Pite. These two pieces we photographed were again beautifully danced, and produced some great images.

Dancers of  Nederlands Dans Theater 1  perform  Stop Motion  choreographed by  Paul Lightfoot  and  Sol León

Dancers of Nederlands Dans Theater 1 perform Stop Motion choreographed by Paul Lightfoot and Sol León

More exciting projects around the corner.

Till next time,

Stephen

Next Chapter

Hello,

A couple of weeks ago I received news that the injury I have been carrying for the past couple of years, and for which I had surgery for, has brought a premature end to my dancing career. In the new year I will officially be retiring from dance! As much as I have prepared for this eventuality, it has still been quite a shock. However, in the new year I will move into photography full-time and I can not wait to properly get started! 

Last week was very emotional for myself personally, Rambert was performing at Sadler’s Wells and unusually performing two separate programmes, Contemporaries and The Creation. These two programmes would mark the last time I would perform with my partner, Vanessa Kang, and also the last time my friends and family would see me perform on stage. For both reasons, these performances were very special and I am grateful to everyone involved for the incredible memories that I will hold dear.

 

The beautiful flowers gifted to me by my partner, Vanessa Kang at the end of my last performance on the Sadler's Wells stage.

 

The Contemporaries programme consisted of a triple bill of choreographers who were all ex-Rambert dancers turned choreographers; Malgorzata Dzierzon, Patricia Okenwa and Alexander Whitley. The three works were distinctive in their style and used the dancers in hugely different ways. As an evening’s work, the audiences were treated to the incredible versatility of the dancers. My personal favourite has to be that of Patricia Okenwa’s Hydrargyrum. I was a part of this work’s creation, I performed it at it’s premiere, watched the work as an audience member and have now performed it as part of my final London performance. I appreciate the work on so many levels, the vision and choreography of Patricia Okenwa, the Design (Jon Bausor) the Music (Aleksandra Vrebalov) and the Lighting (Charles Balfour) all come together to make a dance work unlike others. 
Beneath I have provided the link to my galleries I photographed for both Alexander Whitley's Frames and Patricia Okenwa's Hydrargyrum.

 

Edit Domoszlai and Miguel Altunaga in Malgorzata Dzierzon's work Flight performed by Rambert

 
 

Miguel Altunaga, Liam Francis, Vanessa Kang, Edit Domoszlai and Jacob O'Connell in Patricia Okenwa's work Hydrargyrum for Rambert.

 
 

Hannah Rudd and Miguel Altunaga in Alexander Whitley's work Frames for Rambert.

 

The latter half of the week was for the performances of Mark Baldwin’s, The Creation with music from Joseph Haydn’s epic score of the same name. This was Rambert’s largest production to date, featuring the full Rambert company, the 3rd year of Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, the Rambert Orchestra, the BBC Singers, the exquisite soloists Sarah Tynan (Soprano), James Gilchrist (Tenor) and Neal Davies (Bass), conducted by Paul Hoskins Design by Pablo Bronstein, Lighting by Mark Henderson. It is a long list of influential names and some seriously talented people. It was one of the performances that in years to come you can say, “I was there”!

 

Stephen Wright (me) and Vanessa Kang in Mark Baldwin's, The Creation for Rambert. Photo by Hugo Glendinning.

 

I will still be touring with Rambert for the upcoming month, and will be photographing a production gallery of Christopher Bruce’s 80’s classic and national favourite, Ghost Dances amongst other projects.

But until then,

Stephen