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Melt Down

Rosemary Lee

Photo by Hugo Glendinning
2012 – ongoing

Gathering in a public space, often under the expansive branches of a huge tree, a group of men of varied ages, raise their arms to the sky then slowly, almost imperceptibly, ‘melt down’ to the ground.

A single bell toll marks each minute of the melt down, as countless images and thoughts of mortality, the passage of time, human strength and frailty, and the resilience of the human spirit pass through the viewers mind.

A deceptively simple yet powerful sculptural work, Rosemary reworks this idea for different contexts, incorporating a group of local professional and non-professional performers wherever she goes.

“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

“Beautifully realised and transporting”

Donald Hutera, The Times

With thanks to Elise Long and Spoke the Hub Dancing Brooklyn, for inspiration and permission to work with Melt Down concept. 

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. First commissioned for Dance Umbrella, 2011 and recreated for Panorama Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Coastal Currents in Hastings, Tanz! Heilbronn in Germany and Bath Dance.

See Melt Down featured in film maker Alex Reuben’s Newsreel Two

For more information on this project download the touring pack or contact Nicky Childs at

Date Title Venue City
21 May 2016 Meltdown & Rising Bath International Music Festival Bath
7 September 2014 Melt Down Coastal Currents Hastings
24–25 May 2014 Melt Down Tanz! Heilbronn Heilbronn
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 Melt Down Square Dances, Dance Umbrella London London
Photo by Hugo Glendinning