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.​ ​


Ross McCormack, 2017 Laureate Award recipient, speaks to Simon Bowden, Arts Foundation Executive Director about receiving the award and what it means to him.
Premiered Hong Kong Arts Festival, March 2016, on tour
Enjoy Gallery, April/ May 2015
Premiered April 2015, on tour
AGE was commissioned and presented by the 2014 New Zealand Festival with funding assistance from Creative New Zealand.
Graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance
Performed in 'Inland', choreographed by Douglas Wright, which premiered at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts and then toured NZ
Joined Australian Dance Theatre
Joined Les Ballets C de la B, based in Belgium till 2015, toured internationally to major festivals and venues, including the prestigious Festival d'Avignon
Recipient of the Sir Robert Helpmann Award for Best Male Dancer
First full-length choreographic commission 'Nowhere Fast', with Dancenorth, Australia
Joined Chunky Move Australia
Co-founded Muscle Mouth upon receiving commission from New Zealand Festival Joined Lucy Guerin
New Zealand Festival presented 'AGE', Muscle Mouth's inaugural work
Awarded Creative New Zealand Choreographic Fellowship; Premiered 'Triumphs and Other Alternatives'
First international presentation by Muscle Mouth, at Hong Kong Arts Festival; Toured 'Triumphs and Other Alternatives' in NZ Created ‘Matter’ New Zealand Dance Company Created ‘If Form was Shifted’ Dance North Company Australia
Received Arts Foundation Laureate Award Performed as Mozart in 'Amadeus' alongside Michael Hurst with Auckland Theatre Company; First international collaboration by Muscle Mouth, 'Borderline', a collaboration with T.H.E Dance Company that premiered at the M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival, Singapore. Created ‘Area2’ for T.H.E Dance Company Singapore Joined Auckland Theatre Company