Choreographer and film maker Rosemary Lee discusses her research with poet and performer Laura Burns. Beginning from an interest is in the relationship between language and its origins and our felt experience of ourselves in the world through our bodies, Rosemary was inspired by the late poet Michael Donaghy, who said he believed every single word had its roots in our human physicality, a claim which became central to her Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award-supported research beginning in 2013. Rosemary posits that, perhaps, the gulf between spoken and written language and silent, felt movement, is more possible to connect than she imagined. The two artists explore our bodies’ knowledge of and generation of language and metaphors, the use and influence of words in their practices and celebrate the difficulty of giving words to experience.
This talk was part of Crossing Borders 2015 and was presented in partnership with London Contemporary Dance School.
Rosemary Lee 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.
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.
Laura Burns works at the intersection of writing, performance, dance and healing practices. Completing an PhD in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University, her research considers the nonhuman and human ancestors as primary collaborators, finding ways of listening to them and centering their voices in political futures. Much of her work happens on the land without a human audience; she is constantly questioning this labour and the role of nonhuman witnesses in performance.
As published in 2014.