Mark Baldwin is stepping down as artistic director of contemporary dance company Rambert after 15 years in the post.
He joined Rambert as a dancer in 1983, before being appointed artistic director in 2002.
He said he was stepping down to devote more time to his choreographic work.
“I am leaving a company in a very good position, with fantastic dancers and huge audiences. I feel I am leaving Rambert on a high,” he said, highlighting Rambert’s move into a new purpose-built facility  on the South Bank and the launch of Rambert2, a new junior company.
“I have commissioned over 60 works, both new and revivals, for the Rambert dancers, who in my opinion have the richest embodied knowledge in the world. This is the beginning of my 16th year as artistic director which is the longest stint of any artistic director of this company, and I think it is the perfect moment to hand over. I arrived as a choreographer and my heart tells me it is time to return to that,” he said.
Baldwin has created eight works for the company during his tenure including Constant Speed in 2005 and The Creation in 2016, which celebrated Rambert’s 90th anniversary.
Rambert chair Howard Panter praised Baldwin as an “outstanding artistic director”, adding that he had led the company with “enormous generosity and exceptional, bold creativity”.
“Both as a choreographer, and as an inspiring curator of others’ work, his tenacity has kept the company always growing. His strong leadership through the many tough years of getting Rambert’s fantastic new home built has been unflagging,” he said.
Plans for appointing a successor will be announced shortly.