DaDaFest BSL Video

Lisa Simpson


Lisa Simpson is a Liverpool-based choreographer/dance leader with Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and no verbal communication. Lisa choreographs dancers using The Simpson Board, a simple yet priceless tool that enables people with limited or no speech to create their own work.

The Simpson Board is a flexible A3 sized laminated board covered in the words, diagrams and symbols needed to create a dance. It allows the user to indicate using their eyes or by pointing where, on a virtual stage, they would like the dancers to go and what sort of moves they should make. An assistant/translator who sits alongside the user, reading the Board then speaks these instructions aloud to the dancers.

Adam Benjamin, Co-founder of CandoCo Dance Company (1990 – 98) who was inspired by the methods by which Lisa produced visual artwork created the board.

In 2010, Lisa set up a social enterprise "Lisa Simpson Inclusive Dance Limited (LSID)" with colleague Ray Rooney travelling around the UK delivering dance workshops to education establishments, dance companies and community groups. In June 2010, she developed two new simplified, interactive boards for children at a local special school.

To date, Lisa has co-led workshops at Beaumont College, Lancaster; G Dance (formerly Gloucester Dance) and the Foundation for Community Dance’s National Summer School. She also contributed to the Foundation’s ‘Dance and Disability’ handbook with one of the UK’s most senior inclusive dance practitioners, Isabel Jones of Salmanda Tandem. In 2012, Lisa was named Employee of The Year by Knowsley Business and Regeneration. This autumn, fresh from performing in Switzerland with 14 Rooms, Lisa has launched into this first professional commission, which will also appear at DaDaFest’s International Congress, University of Central Lancashire and Kirkby Activity Base.

Recently LSID has welcomed a new co-director, Stephen McDermott.

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