Rosemary Lee


Known for working in a variety of contexts and media, Rosemary has created large-scale site-specific works with cross-generational casts, solos for herself and other performers as well as video installations and short films.

Her work is characterized 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 with her audience whilst also exploring and highlighting our relationship with our environment.

Rosemary's recent live performances 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 lost public ‘common ‘ land where people were free to gather; Square Dances (Dance Umbrella, 2011) used what ‘common’ green spaces we have left in London to gather in a different and innovative way and Under the Vaulted Sky (IF:Milton Keynes International Festival 2015) revealed the ethereal quality of the Cathedral of Trees, a magical arboretum planted in the footprint of Norwich Cathedral.

These live works have inspired several associated projects: A DVD and symposium (co-curated with Martin Welton, Queen Mary's University of London) entitled On Taking Care (2012) that drew on the process of making Common Dance, Melt Down, one of the quartet of works that combined to make up Square Dances has subsequently been remade with local casts across the world - from London & Hastings to Rio de Janiero, Brazil and Heilbronn, Germany.

Rosemary’s screen based works include a series of short dance films - boy, greenman, Infanta (made with Peter Anderson) and Snow (made with David Hinton) for the BBC, and interactive installations Apart from the Road and Remote Dancing (made with Nic Sandiland). During 2012-13 she worked on a unique project with Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company in Derry-Londonderry that culminated in the creation of the acclaimed seven-screen video installation Without. Filmed from the city walls, it captured a panoramic view of the city as hundreds of its inhabitants danced and moved through the streets. The three-screen video installation, Liquid Gold is the Air (2015) which she made with dance filmmaker Roswitha Chesher and drew inspiration from the tree cathedral and performance of Under the Vaulted Sky, is currently touring to cathedrals, churches and galleries.

Joining forces with movement-artist Simon Whitehead, they have developed Calling Tree (2014), a durational performance cycle of songs, movement and messages taking place in and around a mature tree. First presented in North Wales by Migrations in 2014, they now plan to recreate it in trees in urban 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 a Work Place artist, an Artsadmin Artist, a DanceEast Artist Associate 2015, a ResCen Research Associate Artist (Middlesex University) and holds an honorary doctorate from Roehampton University.

Rosemary Lee