Featured Choreographer: Rosie Whitney-Fish

Interviewed by Laura Dodge

Rosie Whitney-Fish is a choreographer & producer working across commercial, independent and education fields. Rosie has created choreography for professional performers, intergenerational groups and gifted and talented young people. Her work has been funded and supported by Arts Council England, the Cultural Olympiad and Big Dance.

Tell us about your most recent choreographic work.

Dear Lido has just completed a 32-date tour, popping up at working and non-working lidos across the country. I have developed it over three years and it’s been amazing to watch it grow and evolve. One of the performances was beside a screening of the Olympic diving in London Bridge, which provided a great and an unusual soundtrack for the performance. Dear Lido has a touring education and community strand which has reached thousands of people. It has been incredibly successful and a really exciting project. I have also just directed my first music video. I love being behind the camera and thinking about movement from a totally different perspective. 

To read more about this project follow this link: http://www.rosiewhitneyfish.com/Home_Dear%20Lido%20Performance.html

Why did you want to become a choreographer?

I think of myself as a dance entrepreneur. I have a real drive to present dance in an imaginative way and to make people think and most importantly laugh. I really enjoy working with real people, real bodies and real stories; creating bespoke pieces for a particular person or site inspires me to choreograph. I love working site-specifically; I see performance opportunities everywhere every day!

How would you describe your choreographic style?

My work ticks the ‘dance-theatre’ box. I’ve been described as very British, imaginative, entertaining and surreal and that’s fine by me! My aim is to create iconic, pop, cool, irreverent and sophisticated work.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Postcards Of East London has been a highlight! Postcards is an international dance and film project conceived by Jo Parkes and produced by East London Dance. Working with Rachel Davies, we created three 60 second films, working with people who lived along the road that connected one side of East London to the Olympic site. The films were shown at loads of different events and festivals including at the Olympic Park and Cinedans Festival in Amsterdam. 

To read more about this project follow this link: http://www.postcardsfilms.com/pages/intro.html

Tell me about your new website, www.rosiewhitneyfish.com.

It’s been a labour of love, developed by myself and my partner over a year. We had no budget – just pure ambition to make something new and fresh. I wanted it to be very visual and show my breadth of work. Since then, people have come up to me and said 'oh I didn't know you did this!’ It’s nice to change people’s opinions.

You’re on the steering committee for the National Choreographers’ Conference. Why is the conference important?

I attended Dance UK’s Choreoforum [previous incarnation of the Choreographers’ Conference] when I was fresh from my training – it inspired me hugely and spurred me on.

It’s such an important event where choreographers of all different areas and levels can come together. Dance is so amazing and I find myself working in so many different, weird and wonderful situations. It’s great to have a chance to network and share ideas and stories. I’m so proud of the speakers that are attending this year – the list and the breadth is just incredible.

What are you doing next?

I am off to choreograph in Sydney and Tokyo in June. And I am about to start developing a huge new site-specific project that will tour across the UK. I can’t give all the details now, but I will keep Dance UK posted!

You can read Rosie Whitney-Fish’s full choreographer’s profile at

https://www.danceuk.org/uk-choreographer-directory/ukcd/profile/1352/