Rosalind Crisp was born in Omeo (East Gippsland), Australia, started ballet in Bairnsdale, went on to Melbourne to study classical and contemporary dance at Victorian Ballet School.
After working (mostly unpaid) as a dancer with various choreographers for fifteen 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 original work and remains one of a handful of mature, consistently practicing, Australian 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 a generation 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. During ten years as Associate Artist, the Atelier managed and toured Rosalind's work throughout France and Europe.
Between 2001 and 2020 Rosalind Crisp/Omeo Dance created 25 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 around the world 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 others: French dancers Céline Debyser and Max Fossati, Australian dance artists Helen Herbertson, Lizzie Thomson, Peter Fraser, Andrew Morrish, multi-media artist Vic McEwan, musician/composers Ion Pearce, Bo Wiget, Hansueli Tischhauser, 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 East Gippsland in 2013, Rosalind was shocked to find that the ancient forests she grew up in, from Orbost to Omeo, had been logged. This visceral experience of Australia's continuing colonial destruction of this country, began to infiltrate her dancing. She created The Boom Project in collaboration with Helen Herbertson and Ben Cobham (Dance Massive, 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 performances and installations have been presented in East Gippsland forests and at East Gippsland Art Gallery, Orbost Exhibition Centre, Critical Path Sydney, Artlands Bendigo, Chunky Move, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Atelier de Paris, Light Moves Limerick and on-line.
DIRtywork, a danced lecture on DIRt, has been presented at Dancehouse Melbourne as part of Dance Massive, Dance Limerick Ireland, Bath Spa University UK, Latrobe Regional Gallery 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
In 2020 covid 19 caused Rosalind to withdraw from touring. Instead, through her organisation Omeo Dance Inc. and with associate artists, has created the Orbost Studio for Dance Research, hosting a remote regional artist-in-residence program, supported by the Federal government's RISE Fund.