SHORELINE new work for 2016
Shoreline is an utterly unforgettable experience for audiences - a quite magical dance and choral event set right on the edge of the sea, with the dancers moving in and out of the water. 

Shoreline is danced on beaches and the music, entirely acoustic, is sung by community singers. The company of professional dancers are all of the highest calibre and their dancing leaves audiences with the sensation of having witnessed something truly special. Shoreline is a powerful and highly engaging piece reflecting through movement and music everything that is extraordinary about our dramatic coastline.
To kickstart the making of the work Simon Birch Dance staged engagement activities in various towns across Cornwall, inviting the public to contribute to the project by sharing information about their favourite coastal locations. The material gathered was used to inspire the choreography and the music, and formed part of the libretto.

Shoreline was created in partnership with Dance Republic 2, Falmouth University and the National Trust and was supported by FEAST Cornwall and Arts Council England.

Shoreline was first performed as part of  SALT 2016  .

'Joyful accident....Came across beautiful dance/choir on the beach today.'
Dawn French
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Photographs: Steve Tanner
Delivered by dance educationalist Sarah Waller and visual artist Alessandra Ausenda, in conjunction with Cornwall Dance Partnership and Dance Republic 2, the Shoreline Schools project 2016 involved six Cornish primary schools: Cubert, Coverack, St Keverne, Manaccan, Grade-Ruan and St Martin-in-Meneage. The project took place during the summer term and offered the schools an opportunity to explore for themselves themes and approaches used by Simon Birch Dance in the creation of Shoreline. The Shoreline Schools project started with a series of dance and visual art workshops which led onto the children collaborating with the professional dancers and the choreographer. The school children then performed with the professional dancers at Kynance Cove and Watergate Bay in July 2016. Alongside the performances the visual artwork created by the children was displayed on the beaches.
Shoreline Schools performances photographed by Alessandra Ausenda
'I smiled and immersed myself in sight and sound. Then my daughter perched and captivated upon my shoulders, bent down and whispered ‘Daddy, is this about caring’?'

Surfer Dad



'Words move...'
   by Simon Birch
Commissioned by Freefall Dance Company 2015
‘Words move…’ took its inspiration from T.S.Eliot’s poem Burnt Norton by drawing upon the rich imagery of Eliot’s words to create a poem of movement. The concepts of time (past, present and future), rhythm and verse were the focus for this work. It was performed by Grace Selwood and Emily Dobson, the founders and directors of Freefall, to cello music by David Darling and with  lighting designed by Martin Fenton. 'Words move...' was part of a triple bill that toured twice during 2015.  
Choreographed in 2012, Terrarium – Dance in a Bubble was made in partnership with Spin Arts Management and supported by Yorkshire Dance, the North York Moors National Park Authority and Arts Council England. Terrarium was created in response to the landscape of the North Yorkshire. It was performed by two dancers inside a 4.5metre diameter transparent globe in outdoor locations across the North York Moors National Park, as part of Big Dance in Leeds and imove Sheffield, Hull’s Freedom Festival, City of London Festival and at locations across Cornwall as part of Dance Republic 2’s SALT landscape/dance festival 2013. The audience viewed the performance immersed in the music replayed through a thirty-metre diameter circle of ambisonic speakers. The music was composed by Jon Hughes, costumes were designed by Becs Andrews and the dance was performed by Debbi Purtill, James Southward, Riccardo Meneghini and Daniel Connor.  

The work explored the ever-present lifecycle of nature and allowed audience members to immerse themselves in the event and the surrounding landscapes. Descrbed as beautiful and truly mesmerising, Terrarium had a dialogue with and celebrated some of UK’s most stunning locations.
  1. Dancers: Daniel Connor & James Southward
  2. Dancer: James Southward
  3. Dancers: Daniel Connor & James Southward
  4. Dancer: Debbi Purtill
  5. Terrarium at Daymer Bay
  6. Dancers: Debbie Mason & Kaasam Aziz
  7. Dancers: James Southward & Debbi Purtill
  8. Terrarium at Rivaulx Terrace


    Research and development at Yorkshire Dance, Leeds.
    Rehearsal footage of a dance work by Simon Birch, created as part of the Wooda Arts Award 2008 and with support from the Arts Council England
    Commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance created in collaboration with composer Jon Hughes and first year dance students, inspired by the work of sculptor David Nash.
    Commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance created in collaboration with composer Jon Hughes and first year dance students, inspired by the work of sculptor David Nash.
    The choreography of epidemiology. Becs Andrews Company
  6. SALT landscape/dance
    Dance Republic 2's landscape dance festival 2013