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Ross mccormack2

Ross McCormack’s Biography

Last Updated:
16/05/2019, 9:47 pm
Arts Foundation Laureate 2017
Ross McCormack is one of New Zealand’s leading next generation performance makers.

Ross​​ ​graduated​ ​from​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​School​ ​of​ ​Dance​ ​in​ ​2001​ ​and​ ​went​ ​on​ ​to​ ​perform with​ ​Douglas​ ​Wright​ ​Dance​ ​Company​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Royal​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​Ballet.​ ​In​ ​2003​ ​Ross​ ​joined Australian​ ​Dance​ ​Theatre​ ​where​ ​he​ ​worked​ ​closely​ ​with​ ​Garry​ ​Stewart​ ​on​ ​the​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​several new​ ​works​ ​which​ ​toured​ ​the​ ​United​ ​States​ ​and​ ​Europe.​ ​In​ ​2005​ ​Ross​ ​won​ ​the​ ​Best​ ​Male​ ​Dancer Helpmann​ ​Award​ ​for​ ​his​ ​performance​ ​in​ Held,​ ​a​ ​collaboration​ ​between​ ​Australian​ ​Dance​ ​Theatre and​ ​New​ ​York​ ​dance​ ​photographer​ ​Lois​ ​Greenfield.

From​ ​2004​ ​to​ ​2015​ ​Ross​ ​was​ ​based​ ​in​ ​Europe,​ ​working​ ​with​ ​Alain​ ​Platel​ ​at​ ​Les​ ​Ballets​ ​C​ ​de​ ​la​ ​B​ ​in Belgium.​ ​He​ ​performed​ ​in​ VSPRS (2006,​ ​direction​ ​Alain​ ​Platel),​ Patchagonia (2007,​ ​direction​ ​Lisi Estaras),​ Out of Context - For Pina (2010,​ ​direction​ ​Alain​ ​Platel)​ ​and​ Tauberbach (2014,​ ​direction Alain​ ​Platel).

In​ ​2011​ ​Ross​ ​also​ ​performed​ ​with​ ​Australia’s​ ​Chunky​ ​Move​ ​touring​ Connected to​ ​the​ ​United​ ​States, and​ ​then​ ​joined​ ​Les​ ​Ballets​ ​in​ ​Japan​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​touring​ Out Of Context.​ ​

In​ ​November​ ​2012​ ​Ross joined​ ​Melbourne​ ​dance​ ​company​ ​Lucy​ ​Guerin​ ​Inc​ ​to​ ​perform​ Untrained at​ ​BAM,​ ​New​ ​York​ ​and Mondavi​ ​Arts​ ​Center,​ ​California,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​for​ ​a​ ​tour​ ​of​ ​Ireland,​ ​the​ ​UK​ ​and​ ​Greece​ ​in​ ​May​ ​2013.

In​ ​2013​ ​Ross​ ​joined​ ​fellow​ ​Les​ ​Ballets​ ​C​ ​de​ ​la​ ​B​ ​dancers​ ​in​ ​Korea​ ​to​ ​collaborate​ ​on​ ​an​ ​independent creation​ NowNow,​ ​and​ ​then​ ​performed​ Out of Context with​ ​the​ ​company​ ​at​ ​the​ ​prestigious​ ​Festival d'Avignon.​ ​Between​ ​January​ ​2014​ ​and​ ​December​ ​2015​ ​Ross​ ​performed​ ​in​ ​Alain​ ​Platel’s​ ​highly acclaimed​ Tauberbach,​ ​a​ ​show​ ​that​ ​has​ ​won​ ​multiple​ ​international​ ​awards​ ​since​ ​its​ ​premiere.​ ​Ross returns​ ​to​ ​work​ ​with​ ​Les​ ​Ballets​ ​C​ ​de​ ​la​ ​B​ ​in​ ​November​ ​2017,​ ​to​ ​perform​ Out of Context in​ ​Spain (festival​ ​dates​ ​still​ ​to​ ​be​ ​announced).

Alongside​ ​his​ ​performance​ ​career​ ​Ross​ ​has​ ​been​ ​forging​ ​his​ ​distinctive,​ ​highly​ ​physical​ ​choreographic practice.​ ​He​ ​has​ ​been​ ​commissioned​ ​to​ ​choreograph​ ​several​ ​short​ ​works​ ​for​ ​New​ ​Zealand companies:​ (sex), 2012​ ​and​ Stealth,​ ​2009​ ​for​ ​Footnote​ ​Dance;​ Preface: Homage to a Risk,​ ​2015, Visions of Salome,​ ​2015,​ SUM,​ ​2011​ ​and​ Symbiotic,​ ​2008​ ​for​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​School​ ​of​ ​Dance;​ Nga hau e wha: Papa Nuku,​ ​2011​ ​for​ ​Okareka​ ​Dance​ ​Company;​ Area,​ ​2015,​ ​and​ Rahui,​ ​2012​ ​for​ ​Unitec;​ ​and Matter, ​2016​ ​for​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​Dance​ ​Company.

In​ ​Australia​ ​Ross​ ​choreographed​ ​his​ ​first​ ​full-length​ ​work​ Nowhere Fast,​ ​2009​ ​for​ ​Dancenorth, Townsville,​ ​which​ ​toured​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Macau​ ​Cultural​ ​Centre,​ ​China​ ​in​ ​September​ ​2010.​ ​He​ ​then​ ​created [SIC], 2011,​ ​also​ ​for​ ​Dancenorth,​ ​and​ ​short​ ​work​ I said HaHa,​ ​2011​ ​for​ ​Link​ ​Dance​ ​Company,​ ​Perth.​ ​In April​ ​2016​ ​Ross​ ​returned​ ​to​ ​Dancenorth​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​new​ ​work​ If Form Was Shifted as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a double-bill​ ​programme​ ​with​ ​Australian​ ​choreographer,​ ​Stephanie​ ​Lake,​ ​which​ ​has​ ​since​ ​toured​ ​in Australia.

In​ ​2014​ ​Ross​ ​co-founded​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​dance​ ​theatre​ ​company​ ​Muscle​ ​Mouth,​ ​where​ ​he​ ​is​ ​Artistic Director.​ ​He​ ​directed​ ​and​ ​choreographed​ AGE,​ ​the​ ​company’s​ ​inaugural​ ​show, which​ ​was commissioned​ ​and​ ​presented​ ​by​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​Festival.

Muscle​ ​Mouth​ ​then​ ​premiered​ Triumphs and Other Alternatives ​in​ ​2015​ ​to​ ​great​ ​acclaim,​ ​a​ ​show which​ ​Ross​ ​directed​ ​and​ ​performs​ ​the​ ​central​ ​role.​ Triumphs and Other Alternatives has​ ​since​ ​toured NZ,​ ​been​ ​presented​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Australian​ ​Performing​ ​Arts​ ​Market,​ ​and​ ​will​ ​next​ ​be​ ​performed​ ​in​ ​Seoul​ ​as part​ ​of​ ​2017​ ​Seoul​ ​International​ ​Dance​ ​Festival.

Muscle​ ​Mouth​ ​then​ ​premiered​ The Weight of Force,​ ​a​ ​solo​ ​work​ ​featuring​ ​Ross,​ ​at​ ​the​ ​2016​ ​Hong Kong​ ​Arts​ ​Festival.​ ​The​ ​work​ ​then​ ​toured​ ​to​ ​the​ 2016​ ​M1​ ​Contact​ ​Contemporary​ ​Dance​ ​Festival, Singapore.

In​ ​2017​ ​Muscle​ ​Mouth​ ​undertook​ ​its​ ​first​ ​international​ ​collaboration,​ ​presenting​ Area² as​ ​part​ ​of Borderline,​ ​a​ ​new​ ​double-bill​ ​season​ ​that​ ​premiered​ ​in​ ​Singapore​ ​with​ ​T.H.E​ ​Dance​ ​Company.​ ​The company​ ​is​ ​also​ ​developing​ System,​ ​a​ ​new​ ​experimental​ ​work​ ​that​ ​will​ ​premiere​ ​in​ ​2018.

In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​the​ ​above​ ​shows,​ ​Muscle​ ​Mouth​ ​presented​ ​installations​ Tiger and​ Another Garden at Enjoy​ ​Public​ ​Art​ ​Gallery​ ​in​ ​2015. In​ ​the same year Ross​ ​was​ ​awarded​ ​the​ ​prestigious​ ​Creative​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​Choreographic​ ​Fellowship.

In​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​performing,​ ​choreographing​ ​and​ ​directing,​ ​Ross​ ​has​ ​also​ ​designed​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​sets​ ​for​ ​his works.​ ​Of​ ​special​ ​note​ ​are​ ​his​ ​designs​ ​for​ Triumphs and Other Alternatives​ ​and​ ​performance installation​ Tiger,​ ​both​ ​of​ ​which​ ​received​ ​much​ ​praise.

In​ ​2017​ ​Ross​ ​performed​ ​with​ ​Auckland​ ​Theatre​ ​Company,​ ​alongside​ 2003 Laureate ​Michael​ ​Hurst,​ ​playing​ ​Mozart​ ​in their​ ​sell​ ​out​ ​season​ ​of​ Amadeus. In the same year, Ross received the Arts Foundation Laureate Award.

Ross​ ​is​ ​now​ ​based​ ​in​ ​New​ ​Zealand​ ​where​ ​he​ ​undertakes​ ​choreographic​ ​commissions,​ ​is​ ​the​ ​2017 choreographer​ ​for​ ​the​ ​World​ ​of​ ​Wearable​ ​Art,​ ​and​ ​creates​ ​new​ ​work​ ​with​ ​Muscle​ ​Mouth.​ ​