The first day of University of Roehampton's Footprint Dance Festival is under way! Closing the afternoon today, renowned British choreographer, director and performer Rosemary Lee led a Dance Film and Choreography Seminar.
After graduating from the Laban Centre, Rosemary Lee has created numerous site specific works and dance films, often working with installation. Lee's works are usually large scale, with performers' ages ranging from 6-80 years of age. Her choreography is often reflective of her interest in safeguarding the environment, as well as centring on a quality of taking care and listening to others.
Lee presented four of her dance films, spanning twenty years from 1995 to 2015. The oldest, Boy (1995), filmed off the coast of Norfolk, follows the imaginary world of a young boy. Sand dunes, long grass and bird song typify Lee's interest in natural materials and bird song.
Filmed in northern England, Greenman (1996), focusses on the isolation and dreams of a young man who longs for a 'greener' world. The man is seen burying his face in autumn leaves, rolling in coal and running across slag.
After some discussion, Lee presented Snow (2003), a thoughtfully constructed compilation of archival footage. Old images of Chicago snow storms, couples skating in England, images of war and Olympic skiing from the late 1800s to 1960s, were carefully organised to create a folk feel.
Finally, Lee presented her most recent dance film Liquid Gold is the Air (2015), which is currently premièring at Norwich Cathedral. The film is inspired by the 18th century poet John Clare, who was concerned with representations of the English countryside. Additionally, the work was also heavily inspired by Norwich Cathedral itself.
After each film, the audience were invited to ask questions to start discussions. Lee revealed a great interest in paganism, natural forms, and site specific work. Overall, a very inspiring and stimulating seminar.