17 Jun 2015
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The 2015 Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship has been awarded to experimental dancer and choreographer, Ross McCormack.
The $100,000 fellowship will fund an intense programme of research, artistic development and collaboration for the Aucklander, who has worked extensively overseas and has recently begun to establish a base for his choreographic practice in New Zealand.
Described by the fellowship assessment panel as “an exciting and innovative choreographer,” McCormack’s programme includes becoming an artist-in-residence at the Hannamdong L Studio in Seoul, South Korea in 2016, establishing a design space in New Zealand to focus on set experimentation and design research, and initiating a joint Melbourne/Auckland project with Australian choreographer Stephanie Lake.
He says, “I want to thank the individuals who supported the ideas in my application - to help me continue to run into the dark. This is an incredible outcome.”
“I look forward to engaging with the artists involved and generating the momentum required within such a prestigious opportunity.”
A 2001 graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance, McCormack went on to work with the Douglas Wright Dance Company and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, before joining the Australian Dance Theatre in 2003 where he worked closely with Garry Stewart on the creation of several works which toured the United States and Europe.
In 2005 he won the Sir Robert Helpman Award for his performance in the work Held, a collaboration between Australian Dance Theatre and New York Dance photographer Louis Green Field.
He then joined the famous Belgian radical dance theatre collective, les ballets C de la B, to work for director Alain Platel and performed and toured with the company for close to a decade.
Joining Australia’s Chunky Move in 2012, McCormack toured to the United States and the following year he joined Melbourne-based company, Lucy Guerin and Dancers to perform in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.
He has been commissioned to choreograph numerous works for New Zealand and Australian companies, including Footnote Dance, the New Zealand School of Dance, Okareka Dance Company, Perth’s Link Dance Company and Townsville’s Dancenorth. He collaborated on Faultlines, a new dance work created in Sichuan Province in China which premiered at the 2012 Melbourne International Festival and the New Zealand Festival commissioned McCormack’s new multidisciplinary company, Muscle Mouth to premier AGE, a new work performed in March 2014.
This year Muscle Mouth presented McCormack’s Triumphs and Other Alternatives at the Hannah Playhouse, exploring the obsessiveness and traps of the creative process and combining sculpture making with physical performance to create “an original and visceral new style of Movement Theatre.”
The Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship provides the time and/or resources for the Fellow to commit to a period of investigation, experimentation or research in their practice. It is awarded for a project and/or programme of activity and is open to choreographers who have already produced a significant body of work.
The value of this biennial fellowship was increased from $65,000 following Creative New Zealand’s 2013 review of its support for New Zealand dance.
Previous recipients of the fellowship are: Malia Johnston (2013), Catherine Chappell (2011), Daniel Belton (2009), Lemi Ponifasio (2008), Michael Parmenter (2006), Douglas Wright (2005) and Shona McCullagh (2004).
Media enquiries to:
Sarah Pomeroy, Senior Communications Adviser, Creative New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 677 8070 | DDI: +64 4 498 0725