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I’m a Liverpool based choreographer, workshop leader, and Director of Lisa Simpson Inclusive Dance.
Following on from a successful two years as an Artist in Residence at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), I’m currently now a Leader in Residence for the next 3 years.
At present, I’m the Artist Director working with Sense Touchbase Pears on an exciting new National Inclusive Dance Programme.
I recently collaborated with Rosie Kay Dance Company on a ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ project. Branching Out was an opportunity to further my choreographic practice with the most incredible team of collaborators. The team consisted of the visual artist Louis Price, a sound designer Lee Affen, a lighting designer Brent Lees, Translator Rebecca Randall and mentor Rosie Kay together with dancers Harriet Ellis and Luke Bradshaw.
I have Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and no verbal communication. I developed a unique methodology for realising my own choreographic work using the Simpson Board; a choreography tool created in partnership with Adam Benjamin co-founder of Candoco Dance Company in 1995 and now deliver workshops nationally, widening access for people with disabilities to gain skills in choreography and realise their creative potential.
Believing that if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.. my great passion and professional journey of 30 years has been in pursuit of this in relation to disability. My most important learning has come from my search for making meaningful connection with the hardest to reach individuals, so they can lead a more empowered quality of life. As an advanced practitioner, issue-based performance tutor, curriculum manager and performing arts programme manager in a Lancaster specialist college for people with complex needs, I drew on a range of highly relevant approaches including coaching, counselling, Intensive Interaction, Sensory Integration, and using the arts as an inclusive platform for unheard expressions. During the development of the arts-based curriculum, we partnered with a range of local arts companies to deliver the subjects, including working with many generations of LUDUS dance artists and inspirational dance companies.
Committed to challenging mindsets and developing best practice in others, I became a teaching and learning assessor and trainer in the sector, on the ‘Opening Doors’ course at the Tate Liverpool and coaching assessor.
Since retirement, I’m now experiencing the joys of being a hands-on grandma, fiddling in a band and choral singing. I am also an active climate campaigner, raising awareness of how important it is to keep peat in the ground, not in bags, so it can continue to be nature’s powerful carbon store.
Elisa’s twenty-year career as a dance artist, tutor, lecturer and choreographer; has led her to work extensively throughout the UK and in France, Belgium, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Kosovo and Columbia.
Between 1993 and 2009 she performed with companies including Moving Being, Attic Dance and Ludus Dance Company, working with choreographers such as David Massingham, Sean Feldman, Hannah Gilgren and TC Howard and also as a freelance dance artist for Welsh Independent Dance; Compagnie Raffinot (France); Trip Switch (Wales & Italy) and as a guest performer with Japan based Moving Earth company in residency at St Donat’s Castle Wales, performing in their acclaimed durational work ‘24 hours of light’. She also has an impressive track record for creating work for film and television.
Elisa’s recent MA research drew upon interconnections between the fields of Sociology and Dance by way of identifying Contemporary dance culture and artistic practice as a sociological perspective and a viable lens through which to examine social and cultural worlds.
Over recent years Elisa has worked extensively in Higher Education. Most recently at Edge Hill University.
Her other research interests include: African diaspora dance and Post Colonial studies and also Dance and Disability with relation to inclusive dance teaching practice.
She continues promote the exchange of dance knowledge both within and outside the academic field, extending dance to a range of people of various abilities, disabilities and ages ranging from early years to the elderly.
Elisa has taught for LPM's dance for Parkinson's programme and RetroSpective.
Elisa is the programme leader for BA Dance at Salford University.
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