Liz Roche

artistic director
Liz Roche is co-founder and Artistic Director of Dublin based dance company Liz Roche Company (formerly Rex Levitates). In 2020 Liz was elected to Aosdána in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland. Liz Roche Company is supported by The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Dublin City Council, and has produced and toured over 25 of her works, performing throughout Ireland and internationally at prestigious venues and festivals including the Baryshnikov Arts Centre New York, South Bank Centre London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Meet in Beijing Festival and Powerhouse Brisbane.

Recent commissions include Dēmos for The Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival and New Music Dublin 2021, The Here Trio for Maiden Voyage Dance Belfast (co-production with Liz Roche Company 2020 and 2022), I/Thou for Cork Opera House in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre which saw a major new production for the Opera House stage inspired by the work of visual artist Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland (supported by a prestigious Arts Council Open Call Award) and Naher… closer, nearer, sooner in collaboration with theatre-maker Shane O'Reilly for Goethe-Institut Ireland. This work has also been adapted for film and directed by Alan Gilsenan, produced by Liz Roche Company, Goethe Institut Irland and Invisible Thread Films.

Other commissions include Pilgrimage for the One Here Now Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project 2018 at Sirius Arts Centre Cobh for Cork Midsummer Festival and Totems for reopening of the Milltown and Dargan wings of the National Gallery of Ireland in 2017. In 2016 Liz directed Embodied, a series of 5 choreographed female proclamations for the Dublin Dance Festival, commissioned by An Post/GPO for their 2016 celebrations and in 2015 the company premiered Bastard Amber, commissioned by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival. This was a historic moment for dance in Ireland, as it was the first time ever for an Irish choreographer to be commissioned to create a full length dance work for the main stage of the Abbey Theatre.

Between 2009 and 2012 Liz was choreographer-in-residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University Limerick, and is a former recipient of Peter Darrell Choreographic Award, Bonnie Bird U.K. New Choreography Award and the Dublin Fringe Festival's Jane Snow Award.

As a dancer, she has worked with world renowned choreographers and companies: Rosemary Butcher (UK), Jodi Melnick (USA), John Jasperse Company (USA), Les Carnets Bagouet, Cathala & Ramalingom, (France) and Christine Gaigg 2nd Nature (Vienna) and has performed at Montpellier Danse, Paris Biennale, Festival De La Nouvelle Danse, Impuls Festival and the Viennale. In Ireland she has danced with John Scott’s imdt, Cois Ceim Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Ireland and Daghdha Dance Company.

Liz is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School.

Liz has been teaching professional dance classes and workshops consistently throughout her career. She begins with preparing the body through improvisation supported by various somatic practices and methods. Set movement is introduced gradually and phrases are built over time. Liz has taught at Tanzquartier Wien, FORM Dance Projects Sydney, Dance Ireland, Catch 8 for Attic Projects, Scottish Dance Theatre, Cois Ceim Dance Theatre and Dance Exchange Birmingham. She teaches regularly on the BA and MA courses in Contemporary Dance at The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University of Limerick.

Her work in opera includes choreographies for Irish National Opera (Elektra 2021, Aida 2018), Wexford Festival Opera (The Mines of Sulphur), National Opera of Korea (Aida), Rossini Opera Festival (Semiramide), Opernhaus Zurich (Axur Re D'Ormus & Lucio Silla), Opera de Nice (Lucio Silla) and Opera Ireland (Pique Dame, Don Carlos, Aida, Macbeth, La Cenerentola, The Silver Tassie, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Andre Chenier, Mazeppa).

Choreographies for theatre include The Abbey Theatre's Anna Karenina, DrumBelly, King Lear, Alice In Funderland, The Government Inspector; Once Before I Go, The Red Shoes, Festen and The Mariner at The Gate Theatre, Dancing at Lughnasa for the Lyric Theatre Belfast, Woyzeck in Winter for Galway International Arts Festival and The Barbican London, The Talk of the Town, Miss Julie, The Secret Garden and Alice In Wonderland for Landmark Productions, Medea and A Tender Thing for Siren Productions.

Her choreographies for other dance companies include Cold Dream Colour for Arcane Collective, co - choreographed with Morleigh Steinberg and Oguriperforming in Dublin and Red Cat Los Angeles 2009, Catalyst for the National Ballet of China & China Ireland Cultural Exchange performing at the Great Hall of The Minorities at the Meet In Beijing Festival 2004. In 2000 she choreographed Blush for Scottish Dance Theatre at Dundee Rep, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Bloomsbury Theatre London + extensive UK tour, An Outside Understanding for Croi Glan Integrated Dance at Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, The Match for Maiden Voyage Dance Northern Ireland 2007, Dragons and Tonics for Cois Ceim Dance Theatre at Belfast Festival at Queens & Project Arts Centre, National tour & Scottish Youth Dance Festival 1997.

Liz was also a selected artist for Modul Dance, a European network for dance artists from 2011 – 2014 and a board member of Theatre Forum and Dance Ireland.