Since 2007 Orr & Sweeney are dance ecologists, who co-facilitate residential research intensives in remote and regional locations in UK and Australia, developing a method for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary live performance practices based in site, bringing together professionals from land science and various arts disciplines.

Originally operating under the umbrella term ‘Rockface, Orr & Sweeney’s work is centred around new knowledge construction formed out of immersive performance ecology acts that occur between the boundaries of live art, new media and physical performance. Since 2006 they have developed an ongoing Embodied Research Forum – a nomadic platform that invites visual artists, archaeologists, architects, ecologists, environmentalists, choreographers, designers and geologists to partake in sense led physical explorations of land through immersive practices.

Orr & Sweeney’s approach is informed by contemporary choreographic practice and advocates a critical cultural dialogue between audience, performer and environment that actively seeks new performance vocabularies and language exchanges across disciplines to contribute to a wider sustainability discourse.

Their work has been performed widely throughout the UK and Australia, supported by the Centre for Sustainable Futures (UK) the Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts (WA), CRAFTS Council, ACT, PLaCE International Research Centre, University of West England and Dance in Devon.




RadYoung 5376cMarnie Orr (Western Australia) is a creative professional passionate about immersive environments and generating platforms that engage audiences as participants. Marnie sees dance as a mode of operating within the world. She has combined her experience working in the artistic fields of dance, photography and installation with marketing and production.

She is an endorsed Bodyweather practitioner (Tess de Quincey), holds an Events Diploma (Central Tafe WA) and an MA Professional Practice (Site Dance and Experience Design) from Middlesex University UK. Her work is interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, and was described by WA Department Culture and the Arts as being “a leader in her field” (2011).

Currently Marnie is a sessional lecturer at Western Australian Academy Performing Arts (WAAPA), has been a company trainer for Ochre Dance Company, and owns an events design business. Marnie’s work is varied, but falls into the categories of design, performance training, and research. Collaboratively Orr has created unique outdoor multimedia events, performance shows, arts festivals as well as a creative producer of corporate engagements.




Rachel Sweeney (UK) originally trained at Dartington College of Arts before pursuing independent training and research in the area of Butoh.

She has performed with Fran Barbe Dance and trained with Su-En Butoh Company (Sweden) and Tadashi Endo (Germany) and has won awards from Dublin Corporation, the Arts Council of Ireland and Dance in Devon for her solo performance work. She currently runs a dance film co-lab with Manus Sweeney (whatelse?video) and has lectured widely in contemporary performance practices at the University of Plymouth, Middlesex University, Dartington College of Arts and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Research posts include a Centre Fellow for the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth (2007-08) and as a Visiting Fellow for the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University (2012) . She holds a practice based research PhD from Middlesex University, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Dance at Liverpool Hope University.