Lisa Maris McDonell is a dance artist whose practice embraces performance, choreography, video, sound, visual art and therapeutic dance. She is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Lisa has been creating and presenting performance works in various contexts in Australia and internationally for professional performers, students and community groups since 1996. As an educator she has worked for WAAPA, NAISDA Dance College (Course Coordinator), Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company public classes. She also gives workshops to community groups, educational institutions and pre-professional training programs.
Lisa's recent projects include Home Truths, supported and presented by Merrigong Theatre's Studio Sessions program. The work comprised of five solos for mature female performers, with video and original sound elements also created by McDonell. In early 2016 Lisa presented Five Kinds of Paradise at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre as part of CPAC's 2016 performance season. The work was the inaugural recipient of CPAC's GRID residency program with additional support from Tasdance and Arts NSW. A piece for five performers, the work included substantial video elements filmed in rural Tasmania. In 2017, Lisa was commissioned by Wollongong Art Gallery to create the durational work, Chamber Dances in response to the gallery's Bluescope Gallery space.
Lisa’s work for video has been featured in film, dance and art festivals in Australia and internationally. She is a two time finalist of the Meroogal Women’s Art prize, with her video Women’s Work winning third prize in 2016. Her work Coal is Dead, saw her as a featured artist in the 2018 WomenCinemakers Berlin biennale edition.
In addition to her work with Merrigong Theatre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Wollongong Art Gallery, in recent years Lisa has been involved in projects and residencies with Critical Path, De Quincey Co, Carriageworks, Big Ci, Tasdance, Sydney Living Museums, Accessible Arts, Mirramu and Goulburn Regional Gallery. In 2018 Lisa was a finalist and recipient of a jury “special mention” in the first Competition for Mature Soloists under the umbrella of the Festival for International Contemporary Dance in Mexico City.