|Rosemary Lee – Biography & Artistic Policy|
| Rosemary Lee graduated from the Laban Centre for Movement
and Dance with a 1st class Honours degree in 1981. Soon after she moved
to New York where she became a founder member of Spoke the Hub Dancing and
continued to study new forms of dance and improvisation.
In 1985 she returned to Britain to concentrate on her own work and performing and to dance with Sue MacLennan’s Occasional Dance Company. In 1985 she and Sally Sykes developed a unique residency/performance project that toured extensively, allowing casts of all ages and experiences numbering 10-150 to join them in rehearsal and performance. The last of these was Memoirs of a Cast of Thousands (touring 1987-1989).
Rosemary continued to develop her interest in large scale participatory projects and in 1987 was artist in residence in Oxford and created New Springs From Old Winters for a cast of 200 performers of all ages and backgrounds. Egg Dances to the music of Arvo Part, was a distillation of and development from “New Springs”. It involved 13 performers ranging from 9-70 years old and was performed at The Place Theatre in 1988 and reconstructed again in 1990 to tour. She and video maker Peter Anderson made Egg Dances on Video on location for Taped, an Arts Council and British Council initiative.
Rosemary’s interest in site specific large scale dance events is most clearly seen in Haughmond Dances (1990), which involved a cast of 237 local people in a ruined abbey outside Shrewsbury. This was followed by Ascending Fields(1992)which she directed and produced with a team of artists in the Fort Dunlop Tyre Depot off the M6 (the largest red brick building in Europe). She has also created works for an Edwardian shopping arcade in Newcastle as part of Dance Umbrella – Duel in a Tea Cup, and for a Wildfowl Reserve in Norfolk – Pensthorpe Performance Trail. On a smaller scale Stranded, for nine women, nine children and nine circles of white feathers with music by Arvo Part was commissioned by the Southbank and made for the Royal Festival Hall ballroom in 1991. Stranded won a Dance Umbrella/Time Out Award 1991. She returned to large scale work in 1999 with The Banquet Dances, part of Take me To the River which involved 50 performers of all ages and was made for the Painted Hall at The Royal Naval College Greenwich. She worked with Emergency Exit on design and Jonathan Lever composed the music.
Along side these large events Rosemary continued to develop her own solo work. Feathered Snippet (1987) became a signature piece and was followed by Tenderhooks (1990) and Heart Home (1993). In 1994 violinist and composer Alexander Balanescu and she were commissioned by the Norfolk and Norwich Music Festival to create two new solos, Exhale for herself and The Galliard, every morning before breakfast for Gill Clarke. In 1997 she created and toured Charged – an evening of three solos combined with live music by the Balanescu Quartet. Silver – a solo for Simon Whitehead with the quartet playing and moving in the piece was commissioned for the tour. “Galliard” was later revived for the gala of the Greenhouse Effect conference at the Yorkshire Playhouse( 1998).
In 1999/2000 she presented One to One, a research
project in which she invited 5 artists to make solos for her to perform.
Her performances were in unusual venues around London, and informally
presented: Gary Carter’s Tidal Secretary was created for the wood panelled court room at Toynbee Hall, Graeme Miller’s Language Lesson was performed in the sunday school
room at Union Chapel and later revived for The Place along with Sue MacLennan’s Time Lapses in One to One x 2
for the Spring Loaded festival. Time Lapses premiered
at Jacksons Lane with Mary Nibletts Figure Frames
and the surprise collaboration with 7 year old choreographer Isaac Lee-Kronick
who created Kangerkey Dances for his mother. Simon
Whiteheads film Sans Popeye is due to be
researched in 2002.