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Artistic Statement:  Interested in communication and how that plays a part in society. Whether that is through movement or language. Using improvisation, physical theatre, poetry and contact work to try relate and portray my experiences to others.

Rachel Laird is based between Scotland and London as a freelance artist. Previously she trained at Copenhagen Contemporary Dance School for her Postgraduate, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for her BA (Hons) degree and prior to this at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance. During this time, she was lucky to have worked with Gustavo Remirez Sansano, Lotte Sigh, Morten Innstrand, Yael Flexer, Filip Van Huffle, Theo Clinkard, Hagit Yakira, Heidi Rustgaard, Dam Van Huynh, Joan Cleville, Matthew Robinson and Anna Kenrick among others. 

Image by Maya Yoncali

Highlights from her training include:

  • Re-staging of Martha Graham’s work Panorama revised by Jacqueline Bulnes.

  • Being a member of the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland for four years where
    she toured nationally and internationally including India, Belgium, Ireland and London
    (Sadler’s Wells)

  • In 2017 performing alongside Van Huynh Company in Under This Weight in Kolkata,
    India as part of the Dance Bridges Festival

  • Dancer for Gianna Burright during her MFA at Trinity Laban. This included a residency
    in Amsterdam when she was mentored by Ria Highler.


Since being freelance Rachel has performed for Garsington Opera in Eugene Onegin, English National Opera in Orphée, Peut-Être Theatre (children's dance theatre) touring their work SHH...Bang! And Tidy Up to China, Next Door Dance in The Beautiful Game for their South England tour, Roisin O'Brien in A Falling Ballet, The Natashas Project and Magical Minds North London Schools tour for A Truefitt Collective.

Rachel is also a co-founder of Sliding Doors Collective alongside fellow Scot Clara Cowen. The Dance theatre duo had their debut sold out performance at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, followed by sold out performances in London including Rising Tides and Resolution Festival 2020 at The Place. Since the pandemic SDC have done 2 residencies at Citymoves Dance Agency and 1 residency at Trinity Laban, performed at Dance Live and Dumfries and Galloway Arts online festivals and received an IGNITE award from Trinity Laban. As of 2022 SDC are excited to announce they have received Arts Council England funding and will complete an R&D for their film Penthouse Hickies and Other Fables.

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Image by Maya Yoncali

They were refreshingly unafraid of silent moments and abrupt endings and when they danced it was with descriptive flair – Laird’s solo to interpret Cowen reading a schmaltzy WhatsApp message full of emojis was humorously observed.

—  Graham Watts, Resolution 2020 Review

Rachel Laird, seemed completely at home with her language, and inhabit the stage with the maturity and ease of a professional.

—  Joan Cleville, Project Y Review 


Laird and Cowen achieve the near-impossible feat of making dance feel integral to the moody tenderness of their relationship.
—  Izzy Rogers, Dance Art Journal

Images by Maya Yoncali Photography

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