Kirstie Simson

United Kingdom


Dance Improvisation that offers Resilience and Support in Difficult Times

Kirstie draws from her extensive experience of Contact Improvisation, dance techniques, the Alexander Technique, Aikido, meditation and her broad knowledge of improvisation in performance.

She shares her work through facilitated exercises, open time for play and exploration, movement scores, observations, discussion, and humour. Much of the work is experienced through partnering and connection with others, balanced with solo time for processing and reflection. Weather-permitting we will also explore scores that take us outside.

There is deep inspiration and rigor in a practice of improvisation that posits vulnerability at its heart. Developing the skills to be able to care for, engage, respect, and respond to that state of openness in oneself, others and our environment generates creative work that is powerful and transformative. Learning from a place of interconnectedness can give us the resilience and insight to face life’s challenges and complexities.

In this workshop Kirstie shares the movement practices and underlying philosophies she has developed over forty years of committed involvement with dance improvisation, that have helped her negotiate life’s challenges and that seem relevant to the times we are living through.

Photographer: Harry Jordon


Kirstie Simson has been a continuous explosion in the contemporary dance scene, bringing audiences into contact with the vitality of pure creation moment after moment of virtuoso improvisation. Called a force of nature by the New York Times, she is an award-winning performer and teacher who has immeasurably enriched and expanded the boundaries of New Dance according to Time Out Magazine, London.

Kirstie is renowned today as an excellent teacher, a captivating performer, and a leading light in the field of Dance Improvisation with a dance practice that spans four decades. From 2008 to 2020, Kirstie held a position as a tenured professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois. In August 2020, Kirstie returned to her home base in Wales from where she continues to share her work internationally.

She is currently serving on the Academic Advisory Board for the Black Mountains College in Wales, helping to design an innovative degree course of planet-centric education combining the Arts and Sciences, aimed towards building a better future. Kirstie is beginning to frame her work now, in the light of our uncertain future, as practices that can help us develop resilience in the face of challenge. She uses her own experience of facing a life-threatening health issue in 2020 as a foundation for her research.

Hool (29′ / Film by Isaac Zambra / Password: sensotramas)
Force of Nature (76′ / Documentary by Katrina McPherson)