Established in February 1999 by Jenny and Liz Roche, Liz Roche Company (formerly Rex Levitates Dance Company) made its debut in Diversions Festival 1999 with Peeling Venus. This began a long standing creative relationship between Liz Roche and a group of Irish based dancers and designers. Peeling Venus, a multi-media piece for 6 dancers played five nights to packed audiences. The company was then commissioned by Aerowaves International Platform to make a duet, Interrupted Light, for the 1999 Dublin Fringe Festival.
Returning to Diversions Festival 2000 with a new work, The Salt Cycle, and a revival of Peeling Venus, the company commissioned by Dublin Fringe Festival, performed Blush - a piece originally created by Liz Roche for Scottish Dance Theatre (Peter Darrell Choreographic Award 2000). In 2001, the solo Trip Down was invited to festival De La Nouvelle Danse Uzes in France and Later that year the company returned to Diversions with a site specific piece Over the Rainbow.
2002 began with Senses, a co-production with Maiden Voyage, bringing together artists from both the North and South of Ireland. Senses was nominated for a Belfast City Award in November 2002. That year Liz was awarded the Bonnie Bird U.K. New Choreography Award, and choreographed Their Thoughts Are Thinking Them for the E.S.B. Dublin Fringe Festival. Alongside duet, These Two People Forgot In Silence,the double bill won the Festival's Jane Snow Award 2002, performed at The National Gallery of Ireland and the 2003 Eigse Festival.
In June 2003 the Project Theatre (Dublin), commissioned a new work, Bread and Circus. 2004 began with a six week residency in Beijing where the company worked with The National Ballet of China to create a new piece Catalyst for The China Ireland Cultural Exchange 04. Catalyst was performed at The Great Hall of The Minorities in Beijing on May 25th, sharing a program with Their Thoughts Are Thinking Them and the NBC’s Chairman Dances. That year the company also premiered Resuscitate at the International Dance Festival Ireland who also commissioned the work. Liz Roche was mentored by Rosemary Butcher for this creation. In November, Liz Roche was commissioned by Mermaid Arts Centre to make a new short work Cross Purposes which was performed as part of a triple bill of work that included Jodi Melnick’s commissioned solo Fish & Map danced by Jenny Roche.
In 2005 the company commissioned a new and highly challenging dance/film performance piece from Rosemary Butcher. Working with London based film makers Why Not Associates and lighting designer Charles Balfour, Six Frames – Memories of Two Women opened in Project Main Space on August 15th. In November the company then traveled to Cyprus with the support of Culture Ireland to perform Their Thoughts Are Thinking Them at the UNESCO conference on choreography in Larnaca.
Later that year Liz Roche began work on a new piece Sweet Apollo which played Project Cube for two weeks in January 2006 and went on to tour to eight venues throughout Ireland. The company premiered the All Weather Project at the Dublin Docklands Festival in June 2006. The piece consisted of 5 solos for women and was set in a specially designed garden area created by landscape designer Jim Bloxam. In September a return to the Dublin Fringe Festival after a four year absence to present a double bill of dance Cross Purposes and The Same Jane. This highly successful evening of dance played to capacity houses at Project for the first week of the Fringe and toured Ireland in April/May 2007.
In May/June 2007 the company was in residence at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, Le Centre National De La Danse, Paris and the Atelier De Danse Carolyn Carlson in Paris. Throughout the month Liz Roche researched and developed new work that was shown at CND alongside The Same Jane and also re-created and performed the All Weather Project at Le Centre Culturel Irlandais.
In July 2007, Jenny Roche left her position of co - artistic director to finish her PhD and take the position of dance adviser with the Arts Council. Soon after I Can’t Make It Alone opened in Project Main Space on December 5th 2007. This piece by Liz Roche for 8 dancers, with lighting by Morleigh Steinberg, music by David Turpin and set by Joe Vanek toured nationally in January 2008 and during this time Katherine O’Malley became associate dance artist.
In February 2008, the company premiered a new work Suedehead by Jodi Melnick at the Museum of Modern Art and in March the company toured Bread & Circus to the Festival of Irish Arts in Beijing for four performances. In April Liz Roche choreographed and danced in Unsung, a short film commissioned by RTE Dance On The Box/The Arts Council. The film was directed by Morleigh Steinberg with music direction by Micheal O Suilleabhian and produced by Red Jam productions.
In the Dublin Dance Festival later in April, Liz choreographed a new solo/trio for Jenny Roche’s solo3 performances at project. The piece was called Shared Material on Dying and was performed by Liz and Jenny Roche and Katherine O’Malley. In May, Liz collaborated with Micheal O Suilleabhain, developing Unsung into a live stage experience for the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival who co-produced the piece with Liz Roche Company. The piece boasted a cast of 4 musicians Micheal O Suilleabhain, Iarla O Lionaird, Ken Edge and Kate Ellis and Liz Roche Company regulars Grant McLay, Philip Connaughton, Katherine O’Malley and Liz Roche.
Shared Material on Dying performed at the European Dance Festival in the South Bank Centre London in September and the Capital Nights Festival Liverpool in October and the studio Duet “Untitled” at Dancebase Edinburgh during the Edinburgh Festival.
In January 2009 Liz Roche and Katherine O’Malley were in residence at Movement Research New York working with the wonderful Jodi Melnick and Juliette Mapp. Liz created a new quartet which was shown at the infamous Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square on January 5th. The company stayed on to perform Shared Material on Dying, sharing at programme with John Jasperse Company and Jonah Bokaer at their new Centre for Performance Research in Brooklyn on January 12th for APAP.
January 2010 the company performed the Quintet from 12 Minute Dances at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York as part of the APAP conference. Following this Dublin Dance Festival commissioned a full length work, Secondary Sources, for Dublin Dance Festival 2010. In August the company travelled to Dusselforf to showcase Shared Material on Dying at the internationale tanzmesse nrw 2010. Following on from this the full production of 12 Minute Dances toured nationally in Ireland and performed at LEAP festival in Liverpool and at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris.
January 2011, the company was invited back to perform at APAP 2011, this time with the full length production of Secondary Sources. The work was presented at Baryshnikov Arts Center on the Jerome Robbin theatre's stage. June 2011 saw Liz's next work Fast Portraits open at Project Arts Centre in Dublin. This work toured Ireland extensively. Liz Roche was selected for the European Dancehouse Netwok programme - Modul Dance.
Beginning of 2012 saw Liz returning to the studio and start a collaboration with filmaker Alan Gilsenan. In May 2012 this new work Body and Forgetting opened the Dublin Dance Festival as part of a double bill with Sarah Dowling's The Wake. During the summer Fast Portraits performed at Dancebase in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and showcased at the internationale tanzmesse nrw 2012.
January / February 2013 the company presented the full length production of Body And Forgetting at the Abbey Theatre on the Peacock stage, followed by performance at DanceXchange, Birmingham Hippodrome, UK and a five venue national tour
Fast Portraits was performed at the Merseyside Dance Initiative - LEAP FESTIVAL, Liverpoool in March, the IETM programme in Dublin in April and in June at the Mouvements Sur La Ville festival in Montpelier, France.. Later in the year work began on a new production Interloper.
Interloper premiered at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin February 2014 alongside a six venue national tour. A development phase of Bastard Amber (a large scale work commisioned by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival) took place in the summer and the autumn followed by a co-production with Northern Irish dance company Maiden Voyage, Neither Either. In October / November, Neither Either performed at the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens, Project Arts Centre Dublin and a seven venue cross border regional tour.
Beginning of 2015 work continued on Bastard Amber. The piece premiered at Dublin Dance Festival 2015 on the Abbey stage. Bastard Amber had further performances at the Kilkenny Arts Festival August 14th & 15th and November 20th at Le Festival Instances, Espace des Arts, Scene Nationale in Chalon-sur-Saone, France.