The Red Clay Ramblers

The Red Clay Ramblers

Since their inception in 1972 as a traditional string band hailing from the heart of North Carolina, The Red Clay Ramblers have transcended musical boundaries with their eclectic repertoire and boundless creativity. What sets them apart is their virtuosity as instrumentalists and singers and their unique ability to infuse every performance with a theatrical flair that transports audiences to another time and place.

The Ramblers’ journey took an exciting turn in the eighties when they collaborated with acclaimed playwright Sam Shepard, providing the musical backdrop for his Off-Broadway sensation A Lie of the Mind and contributing to the scores of several of his films. Their innovative spirit was duly recognized in the nineties when they were honored with a special Tony ® Award for their collaboration with Bill Irwin and David Shiner on the whimsical production Fool Moon. This prestigious accolade cemented their status as pioneers in the intersection of music and performance art.

This summer contemporary ballet meets the rousing, soul-stirring bluegrass and old-time string tunes of The Red Clay Ramblers in two premieres: the Washington, DC premiere of Ramblin’ Suite, choreographed by Diane Coburn Bruning and the world premiere of Book of Stones, a new ballet by guest choreographer Christian Denice. 

Ramblin’ Suite, a unique blend of old-time and bluegrass music and ballet, was originally commissioned in 2001 by the Atlanta Ballet as a collaboration between the Band and choreographer Diane Coburn Bruning and since performed by Milwaukee Ballet to standing ovations. It is a powerful ensemble of tremendous energy that is alternately raucous, poignant, witty, and touching. Featuring twelve dancers, Ramblin’ Suite opens “with a display of bare-chested male athleticism and a kick-ass solo….a finale of dance fireworks” that will be sure to draw cheers and whistles from the audience. 

“The program’s final number was the foot-tapper of the evening…an up-tempo, high-spirited romp…intensely physical moves from the male dancers and playful, flippant maneuvers from the women…seemingly effortless executions including a couple of toss-and-catch games with an airborne female dancer gave the piece a come-join-in-the-fun air” –  Milwaukee Journal 

The Red Clay Ramblers Band newest collaboration with Chamber Dance Project, Book of Stones is ethereal, haunting, and melodic. When paired with the mystical kulning score, an ancient Swedish herding call that dates back to the Middle Ages, audiences will be in for fabulously engaging and entertaining performances.