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Rosemary Lee is a choreographer, director and performer. Over the past thirty years, she has created works ranging from live performances that are often site-specific and involve a cross-section of the community (both professional and non-professional dancers) to dance films and installations.

Resonant with humanity, her work is characterised by an interest in creating a moving portraiture of both individuals and of the close performing communities she brings together. Regardless of the scale of these projects she creates a unique intimacy within her cast and with her audience whilst also exploring and highlighting our relationship with our surroundings.

Rosemary’s recent live and film projects have been both site-specific and involved large casts of professional and untrained dancers of all ages: Common Dance (Dance Umbrella 2009) explored our commonality and was a tribute to the now rare ‘common’ land where people were free to gather. Square Dances (Dance Umbrella, 2011) used four London Squares-‘common’ green spaces in London to gather in a different and innovative way with casts of 100 women, 10 children, 35 men and 25 students. Melt Down a deceptively simple but powerful work created for the cast of men, now tours CTG internationally, the work is recreated for a new site and cast of local performers in each location. For the City of Culture in Derry 2013 Rosemary created a large scale enveloping seven-screen video installation capturing a unique panoramic view of Derry and its inhabitants. She involved over 400 people in the making of this ambitious work WithoutUnder the Vaulted Sky (IF:Milton Keynes International Festival 2014) revealed the ethereal quality of the Cathedral of Trees, an arboretum planted in the footprint of Norwich Cathedral and involved over 80 performers. With the same performers in this vernal cathedral she created the award winning triptych video installation Liquid Gold is the Air with film-maker Roswitha Chesher, currently touring churches, cathedrals and galleries.

Calling Tree (2014) co-created with movement artist Simon Whitehead, takes place in a mature sentinel tree in an urban setting. Performers call, sing, whisper and dance within the canopy of the tree, surprising unsuspecting passers-by and encouraging them to stop, look up and pay attention.  Each manifestation of Calling Tree is created especially for the tree and its surroundings, tailoring the work to respond to the various communities- human and non human, that share the surroundings with the tree.

Passage for Par (Groundwork, 2018) Rosemary’s latest work was especially created for Par Sands and 30 women who slowly snaked across the expansive wet sand over two hours. This mesmerising work invites the audience to experience the site anew whilst illustrating the enduring strength of the collective of women.  Rosemary is planning to find new sites and contexts to develop the work for.

Rosemary is known for her desire and ability to articulate and share her practice, inviting various experts and researchers from other fields to contribute to innovative websites, interactive DVDs, writings and events. A ground breaking DVD and symposium (co-curated with Martin Welton, Queen Mary’s University of London) entitled On Taking Care (2012) drew on the process of making Common Dance and explored care in a variety of contexts. Rosemary also writes, guest teaches and lectures internationally. Recipient of both a Bonnie Bird Award and a Jerwood Choreographic Research Project Award in 2013, she is currently an Artsadmin artist, a Work Place artist, a Senior Research Fellow at C-DaRE Coventry University, a ResCen Research Associate Artist Middlesex University, holds an honorary doctorate from Roehampton University and is an honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban.

“Accessible and luminous, her work is distinguished by a simplicity of movement and highlights the humanity of the performer.”

Gary Carter, Theatre Director

“If I declare that Rosemary Lee’s the real deal, what do I really mean? Simply that this exceptional ‘maker’ – to use Rosemary’s own label of choice – must now rank as one of the most gifted, level-headed and articulate artists in the UK.”

Donald Hutera, Animated

“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

Date Title Venue City
1 February 2020 Threaded Fine Campus Theatre Valletta
23 August – 20 September 2019 Without Echo Echo Studios Derry-Londonderry
22–23 June 2019 Circadian First Light Festival Lowestoft
22–24 June 2018 Passage for Par Groundwork Par Sands, Cornwall
7–22 August 2017 Liquid Gold Is the Air Edinburgh Festival Fringe Edinburgh
12 July 2017 Artsadmin Archive Toynbee Studios
26 October – 10 November 2016 Liquid Gold is the Air Garden of Reflection Gallery, Echo Echo Festival Derry-Londonderry
21–23 October 2016 Calling Tree St George's Gardens London
19–22 October 2016 Liquid Gold is the Air Lumen Church, Bloomsbury Festival London
15–24 July 2016 Liquid Gold is the Air IF: Milton Keynes International Festival Milton Keynes
30 June – 2 July 2016 Calling Tree LIFT Festival, Bruce Castle Park, Tottenham London
28 May – 23 June 2016 Liquid Gold is the Air Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford Oxford
21 May 2016 Meltdown & Rising Bath International Music Festival Bath
5–19 May 2016 Liquid Gold is the Air St Michael's Church, Bath Dance and ICIA Bath
11–28 September 2015 Liquid Gold is the Air Hexham Abbey International Music Festival Hexham
18 July – 8 August 2015 Without Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, Waterloo House Derry-Londonderry
8–24 May 2015 Liquid Gold is the Air Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk & Norwich Festival Norwich
7 September 2014 Melt Down Coastal Currents Hastings
23–25 August 2014 Calling Tree | Rosemary Lee & Simon Whitehead Cae Llan
18–20 July 2014 Under the Vaulted Sky IF: Milton Keynes International Festival Milton Keynes
24–25 May 2014 Melt Down Tanz! Heilbronn Heilbronn
2–31 May 2014 Without RUA RED Gallery, Dublin Dance Festival Dublin
28 November – 12 December 2013 Without Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, Waterloo House Derry-Londonderry
30 August – 6 October 2013 Without Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company, Waterloo House Derry-Londonderry
1 December 2012 On Taking Care: Symposium Queen Mary University London
12–13 November 2012 Melt Down Panorama Festival Rio de Janeiro
13–14 October 2012 Melt Down Dance Umbrella London London
8–9 October 2011 Square Dances Dance Umbrella Various Squares, Central London
8–9 October 2011 Melt Down Square Dances, Dance Umbrella London London
23 October 2010 Common Dance film, by Roswitha Cheshire Greenwich Borough Hall
29 October – 1 November 2009 Common Dance Greenwich Dance Agency London
20–30 August 2009 Remote Dancing Groningen
30 March – 9 April 2009 Wilding Siobhan Davies Studio
4–6 October 2007 Remote Dancing La Piscine Roubaix
15 September – 10 November 2007 Remote Dancing & Stereo Dances Aberystwyth Arts Centre Aberystwyth
7–8 July 2007 Stereo Dances Manchester Central (G-MEX) Manchester
29–30 June 2007 The Suchness of Heni and Eddie Toynbee Studios
4–19 May 2007 Remote Dancing Norwich and Norfolk Festival Norwich
dancers in red walking along a path surrounded by trees
Under the Vaulted Sky by Rosemary Lee. Photo by Shaun Armstrong.
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