Kate believes in looking up and would like to encourage people to fly. She trained in dance at Thamesdown and Laban (1984 – 1989) and ran feminist dance company Nomads in the 1990s. Kate lectures at Bangor University and previously at University of Surrey where she pioneered a vertical dance module (2003 – 2010), fusing dance with her passion for rock climbing. She is a qualified rock climbing instructor and her work is influenced by Wanda Moretti and Lindsey Butcher. She has taught at Les Rencontres de Danse Aerienne in France and the European Aerial Dance Festival in Brighton. Specialising in choreography performed on buildings and other vertical surfaces, Kate is perpetually inquisitive about the creative possibilities of Vertical Dance. She writes about site-specific performance and in 2010 published the first scholarly article on vertical dance. After spending her life in transit, Kate put down roots in Snowdonia, North Wales, in 2010.
Simon is based in North Wales, working as a rigger and rigging consultant (www.aerialrigger.com). His rigging expertise is based on his professional rock climbing and mountaineering experience (www.northwalesrockclimbing.co.uk) and he is a qualified mountaineering instructor (MIA) and member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI). Simon has been a volunteer for Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, and is a qualified and experienced first aider with extensive experience in urban and remote emergency care. Simon applies ‘problem solving’ aspects of mountain climbing and rescue to rigging for aerial performances. Although he works in theatres and regular performance venues, his specialised expertise is rigging for harness work at site-specific locations. He relishes the challenges of rigging from structures and buildings not normally used for performances, working with choreographers and performers to realise their artistic concepts. Simon has performed harness work and is sympathetic to the aesthetics of movement and performance.
Lisa is a dancer, choreographer and teacher living in North Wales. She co-runs Little Light Dance and Digital Theatre Company, which makes dance theatre shows for family audiences and runs the Family Dance Project based at Venue Cymru. Lisa works for many other companies and artists such as Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence, Hijinx Theatre and Conwy Arts Services.
Despina is a Greek/Welsh Independent Dance Artist, with a BA (Hons) in Dance from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Since 2010 she has worked as a freelance dance practitioner and for Dawns i Bawb, a community dance company based in North Wales, developing strong links with the local community delivering dance to all ages and abilities. She has also worked with Vertical Dance Kate Lawrence, Little Light and Pontio. Over the past four years she has performed in Pobl Dre, Gwymon, Hints to Lady Travellers and Porth with VDKL. In August 2015, Despina received the opportunity to train and perform with ‘Aeriosa’ a vertical dance company based in Vancouver, funded by Wales Arts International. She has worked creatively with other local dance artists and has trained with international vertical dance artists Julia Taffe, Wanda Moretti and Lindsey Butcher.
Catherine Ryan is a performing artist, choreographer and teacher. She has a keen interest in integrating multiple physical art forms into her practice, focusing on contemporary dance, aerial arts, vertical dance, physical theatre, and circus. Originally from Australia, Catherine has trained in dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Queensland University of Technology. She is the co-founding director of Symbiosis Collective, an inclusive choreographic group and has been the recipient of a JUMP mentorship and Artstart from the Australia Council for the Arts. Catherine is currently working between Ireland and the UK, focusing on her passions for aerial and dance.