Rosalind Crisp was born in Omeo (East Gippsland), trained in ballet at Bairnsdale, then went on to Melbourne to study classical and contemporary dance at the Victorian Ballet School.
After working (mostly unpaid) as a dancer with various choreographers for ten years, in 1996 she established the Omeo Dance studio in Sydney as a place for her choreographic research. The studio became a home for the experimental dance scene in Sydney for ten years. Rosalind developed local and international exchanges there, often in partnership with Performance Space.
From her first solo show in 1995, she has created a substantial body of work and remain one of the small handful of mature, consistently practicing, Australian contemporary dance artists.
Rosalind has been awarded a NSW Women & Arts Fellowship (1996), a MO Award for best Australian female dancer of the year (1997), a Masters by Research from the University of Western Sydney (1998), a choreographic fellowship from the Australia Council (2000-2001) and in 2014 in recognition of her influence on many generations of Australian dancers, the University of Melbourne-VCA made her an honorary fellow.
In 2002 Rosalind was invited to Paris by Michel Caserta, director of the Biennale de danse du Val-de-Marne, and subsequently invited by Carolyn Carlson to become Associate Artist of the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson. The Atelier managed and toured her French Omeo Dance company for ten years.
Between 2001 and 2019 Rosalind Crisp/Omeo Dance created 20 new works, touring to over 100 festivals in Australia and internationally(France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Croatia, Estonia, Luxembourg, Taiwan & USA), supported by Australia Council, Catalyst, Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Arts NSW, DRAC Ile de France, and the Choreographic Centres of France, UK, Germany and Australia.
Beyond analogy, Crisp’s movement is astonishing in its sheer otherness, ... the standard syntax of dance is erased. It's magical.
Keith Gallasch RealTime, 2011
Rosalind is commissioned by universities, companies and festivals and nurtures exchanges between Omeo Dance (Australia) and Australian and European artists and organisations. The foundation of her work is her ongoing studio research practice and long-term collaborations with, amongst many others: French dancers Celine Debyser and Max Fossati, Australian dance artists Helen Herbertson, Lizzie Thomson, Peter Fraser, performer Andrew Morrish, multi-media artist Vic McEwan, musicians Bo Wiget and Hansueli Tischhauser, and dance scholars Isabelle Ginot and Susan Leigh Foster.
In 2015, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Rosalind a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres.
On her return to live in East Gippsland in 2013, Rosalind was shocked to discover that the majestic forests around Orbost and Omeo where she grew up, had been decimated by logging. This brutal awakening began to infiltrate her dancing. She created The Boom Project in collaboration with Helen Herbertson and Ben Cobham (Dance Massive festival, Melbourne 2015).
The Boom Project is so exhilaratingly earthy and present... I entered the space exhausted and hungry; I exited elated and babbling.
Jana Perkovic The Guardian 23 March 2015
In 2017 Rosalind initiated DIRt (Dance In Regional disaster zones), inviting artists and ecologists to meet in Orbost and explore how dance and collaborative arts practice might respond to the unfolding extinction crisis. Artists include Vic McEwan (mixed media), Lisa Roberts (photo), Andrew Morrish (facilitation), Peter Fraser (dance), Ashley Dyer (facilitation/technical support). DIRt group performance events have been given in damaged local East Gippsland sites and at East Gippsland Art Gallery, Critical Path Sydney and Artlands Bendigo.
DIRt has been supported by Australia Council, Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Artlands Bendigo, Dance Massive Melbourne, Chunky Move Melbourne, Dancehouse Melbourne, Critical Path Sydney, CAD factory (NSW), East Gippsland Art Gallery Bairnsdale, Orbost Exhibition Centre, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Dance Limerick Ireland, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Atelier de Paris, Bath Spa University, Sydney Opera House.
DIRtywork a danced lecture on DIRt, has been presented at Dance Massive Melbourne, Dance Limerick Ireland, Bath Spa University UK, and Sydney Opera House.
DIRtywork was devastating, intelligent and profoundly embodied... Crisp, at the height of her powers, proves that the most exciting Australian dancers are not the young and athletic, but dancers with decades of knowledge and experience, who are still discovering why embodiment is so vital today.
Rennie McDougall The Monthly 02/2019