Rosemary Lee has been choreographing, performing and directing for over twenty years since graduating from the Laban Centre.
Rosemary works in a variety of media, including installation and film and her live work is often site specific large scale, involving casts whose ages range from six to eighty plus. Her work is characterized by a special quality of taking care, of listening to others and paying attention that is unique to Rosemary's way of working that both illustrates and creates communities.
Her recent work has included two Dance Umbrella commissions, Common Dance with a cross-generational cast of 50 especially created for the Greenwich Borough Hall as part of Dance Umbrella 2009 and Square Dances 2011, involving almost 200 performers performing in four London Squares. As artist in residence for the International Festival Milton Keynes she created Under The Vaulted Sky, set in a cathedral of trees with over 80 dancers. Her latest installation Without, a seven screen video installation was created in Londonderry/ Derry involving over 400 participants. This work is currently touring
Rosemary guest teaches and lectures nationally and internationally. She is an Artsadmin artist and Associate Artist of ResCen and an associate artist at Dance East.
Over the course of a year Rosemary Lee worked with Echo-Echo Dance Theatre Company on the creation of a unique video installation in Derry-Londonderry. Over 350 local people – from tea-dancers to skateboarders and school children to cyclists – danced, moved, glided and reclaimed the streets regardless of real and imagined boundaries. The resulting seven-screen video projection filmed from the city wall with specially commissioned sound score by Graeme Miller captures a spectacular panoramic view and intimate portrait of the city and its inhabitants.
Without was featured in the Dublin Dance Festival and is now available to tour to galleries, art centres, museums etc. It is particularly apt for cities or countries that have suffered or suffer conflict or have city walls.
Duration The work runs continually and is on a 22 minute loop
People on road 1 technician with assistance from staff at the venue to set it up
Freight 7 screens and 7 projectors, plus materials
Wraparound Talks, discussions about how the work was created, participatory and site specific work
“This indelibly magical work is full of grace and grit. Without denying them their unique identity as living residents of Derry-Londonderry, Rosemary treats the people in it like angels and, occasionally, ghosts. They’re the sleeping, the fallen, the waiting and the disappeared as well as the active, vital survivors of a very particular place.” Animated, Donald Hutera
“Without …transcends the complexities of its own creation. It’s brilliantly shot and edited in ways that maximise its human and political resonance.”
“Beautiful and simple in the way that beauty is simple, but also intricate and layered and incredibly rich-and very moving. The best history, geography and art lesson you could have all in one! As a lady from the city said to me, maybe this shows what the city is becoming.” Audience member
WITHOUT was commissioned by Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company. Supported by UK City of Culture, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council England, & Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure (NI). Presented in association with Artsadmin. Remount supported by Made at the Place.
Melt Down was originally one of a quartet of short pieces performed in open spaces in central London that combined to make up Square Dances.
Specially commissioned for Dance Umbrella 2011, Melt Down was performed by a group of 40 men under a massive tree. Over ten minutes, with a single toll of the bell marking each minute, the group slowly, almost imperceptibly, ‘melted down’ to the ground. Countless images pass through the viewer’s mind – of battle, human frailty and the resilience of the human spirit, to name but a few. Over the past few years Rosemary has been remaking this deceptively simple yet powerful work in different contexts. The work has been remounted with different casts in Rio de Janiero, Heilbronn Germany and Hastings England.
Duration Preparation followed by 2 weeks, to do the following: Walk round sites and confirm final locations/route, Run daily workshops with a pre-recruited group of performers to Rosemary’s specification (maximum of 10 x 3 hour sessions), 2 x 3 hour rehearsals on location, 2 days of up to 5 performances, at times to be arranged with presenters. Large Bell to be sourced locally.
People on road 1 to 2 (1 Director, 1 Assistant)
Freight No freight necessary
Wraparound Open rehearsals; Insight days; Post-show talks
“I knew this would be challenging both emotionally and physically but I didn’t appreciate how much and in what way - this has been a transformative experience in a year of reflection for me and I consider myself such a fortunate man for having had this opportunity” Performer
“Lee’s genius – and I use the word carefully – is to modulate and sculpt her choreography to the dancers before her with a simplicity that makes the movement seem wholly natural and life-enhancing, for participant and spectator alike.…. the performances that emerge are astounding.” Carole Woddis / Reviews Gate
Originally commissioned by Dance Umbrella.with additional support from Bloomberg.
Rosemary Lee and Simon Whitehead will be previewing their new collaboration Calling Tree in North Wales this summer. Hosted and developed with the support of Migrations, this durational performance will reveal the results of their year-long exploration which has involved performer-aerialists Gisele Edwards & Alex Harvey, rigger Joe Smith, musician Sianed Jones, artist and naturalist Ben Stammers and composers Barnaby Oliver, Isaac Lee-Kronick and Ceri Matthews. Inhabiting a mature oak tree in the heart of Betwys-y-Coed over a period of two days, the two performers will animate its crown with a cycle of songs movement and messages called out to the passers-by throughout the day.
This founding performance will be the start of the journey for Calling Tree as it searches out trees in towns and cities across the country accumulating new songs, texts and contributions from composers and musicians to local artists, poets and thinkers.
Commissioned by Migrations and supported by the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, with funds from The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Akademi, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, DanceEast, DanceXchange, Fierce Festival, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Independent Dance, Royal Shakespeare Company and South East Dance. Additional support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Made at The Place. An Artsadmin project.
Calling Tree (2014)
Under the Vaulted Sky (2014)
On Taking Care (2012) Symposium DVD
Square Dances (including Melt Down) (2011)
Common Dance (2009)
Night -plane (2005)
Remote Dancing (2004)
Stereo Dances (2004)
The Suchness of Heni and Eddie (2002/6/7)
Snow (2003) Film
Apart from The Road (2001) Installation
Studies 123 and 4 (2001)
One to One (1999)
Dancing Nation (2001) Documentary
boy (1995) Film
Infanta (1998) Film
greenman (1996) Film
The Banquet Dances (1999)
3 Studies in Courtship(1997)
Treading the Night Plain (1996)
Charged including Exhale, the Galliard every morning before breakfast and Silver (1994-7)
Ascending Fields (1992)
Haughmond Dances (1990)
Egg Dances on Video (1990)