Choreographer Rosemary Lee reveals new way of understanding ‘being human’

Renowned choreographer Rosemary Lee unveils the creative process behind two years’ worth of investigation on a single poem to Dance students at the University of Roehampton this week. 

Posted: 11 November 2015

Rosemary Lee, who has held a residency with the University’s Department of Dance this term, will give a presentation to reveal how the poem, Touch, by Michael Donaghy has affected her creative process.

Because the use of touch is vital in the field of dance, she chose the poem as a way to understand movement in relation to its various interpretations. She has found that the poem opens a door to a new world of understanding the rich and complex business of being human.

During the residency she ran an experimental choreographic workshop where students were encouraged to use dance improvisation, explore metaphors and draw connections between words and movement.

A second year BA Dance Studies student, Miriam Garnett said: “The workshop combined thoughtfulness with an experience of the sheer joy of movement. Her approach to dance was liberating for me. I was able to dig deeper and extend my physical and intellectual capacities.”

Rosemary Lee said: “The results of the workshop are a part of my on-going process of discoveries around this poem. When I met Michael Donaghy before he passed away 10 years ago, something he said inspired me. He believed that every word has a physical root.

Collaborating with Roehampton students enabled us to take an experimental and experiential journey to play with this idea of where words come from and how they relate to movement, to the body, and even to life itself and to use themes from the poem as starting points into movement .”

Rosemary Lee’s seminar comes after she received the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award in 2013. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, she holds an honorary degree with the University and gave a lecture in last year’s student-led Footprint Festival.

Ann David, Head of the Dance Department said “As the number one dance department for research in the UK we’re glad to welcome renowned choreographers such as Rosemary Lee to bring new perspectives for thinking about dance to our students’ learning.”

Find out more by visiting the dance department. To see one of Rosemary Lee’s workshops, watch a clip from the dance department’s YouTube Channel.

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