ROSS MCCORMAK (NZ)
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.
MORPH LOGICS – A CONSIDERATION OF STATE
By designing objectives for the body to complete, to literally grapple with/pass through, I will be building improvisations as a mechanism to extract.. actions that completely influence the movement and then watch the evolution of this, the individual craft involved with setting and morphing between objective and dance.
For me choreography is as complicated and as simple as watching someone shift a heavy rock, the true effort and technicality involved, the adjustments and the honesty of movement is what inspires choreography within dance for me, I ask dancers to hold onto all that information and morph it into their own quality..
There is where we can find and discuss individual states.