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Under the Vaulted Sky

Rosemary Lee

dancers in red walking along a path surrounded by trees
Under the Vaulted Sky by Rosemary Lee. Photo by Shaun Armstrong.

Created for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, Under the Vaulted Sky was a large-scale outdoor promenade performance which completed a triptych of live participatory projects that included Common Dance and Square Dances.

Developed over an 18-month period, Rosemary brought together a cast of 100, which included professional and apprentice dancers, musicians and volunteer participants from across the region. Working together over an intense three month period they created a performance that reflected the still beauty of the Cathedral of Trees. This magical arboretum was planted over 40 years ago on an ancient ley line running through the heart of the city and mirrors the architectural footprint of Norwich Cathedral.

With music composed by Terry Mann and design by Louise Belson, the resulting performance wove the audiences around the trees to encounter a combination of fleeting dances, delicate installations and a wonderfully vibrant live sound of bells, trombones and percussion. 

Watch a behind the scenes film from IF:2014

Audience quotes

“I think you have created something quite extraordinary and moving. You’re as much a visual artist as a wonderful choreographer.”

“It was a truly magical, unforgettable, deeply moving experience.  It was a profound response to an extraordinary, beautiful setting, which you enhanced with such subtle, sensitive, finely nuanced and detailed interventions.”

“It felt like a complex meditation on value…”

“The commitment you get from your performers is astonishing and wonderful.”

Under the Vaulted Sky inspired the installation Liquid Gold is the Air, which featured members of the original cast and was shot in the same vernal cathedral.

Produced by The Stables and Rosemary Lee Projects with Artsadmin. Commissioned by The Stables for IF: 2014 and supported by an Arts Council England Exceptional Award and Milton Keynes Council. Sponsored by the University of Bedfordshire with support from MK Community Foundation, South East Dance and The Parks Trust.

Date Title Venue City
18–20 July 2014 Under the Vaulted Sky IF: Milton Keynes International Festival Milton Keynes
dancers in red walking along a path surrounded by trees
Under the Vaulted Sky by Rosemary Lee. Photo by Shaun Armstrong.