Online Only Recording: Making Work For Children With Complex Needs
Inclusive Theatre

This is an Online Only Recording. The video player will display on this page from 08:00 (local Cuban time) on 24 May 2024.


Barrowland Ballet’s Artistic Director, Natasha Gilmore, talks about making work with and for children with complex needs, with a focus on children who are neurodivergent. So far, Barrowland Ballet have produced three sensory dance theatre productions, Playful Tiger, The Unexpected Gift, Poggle & Me; and two films, Strings and Frames. The theatre works are all adaptations of existing works, becoming new productions in their own right, for an audience of 8 children aged 7+ and their carers or families.

Natasha shares her experience of the exciting creative challenge this work presents, and devising work in a way that gives the children creative agency and authorship in the process.


“The children that these productions are aimed at don’t often have access to theatre. The work we’re doing tries to find ways to reduce barriers for children with the most complex needs. If dance and theatre can truly enrich children’s lives, as both audience and participant, then it is important that everyone have real access.”

Production Credits

Natasha GILMORE, Artistic Director
Natalie RICHARDSON, Associate Producer (International)

About the Artists

Natasha Gilmore is the founder and Artistic Director of Barrowland Ballet, one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies. An internationally respected choreographer for dance theatre and film, Natasha’s work has toured to six continents. In 2017, Natasha Gilmore was the UK nomination for the ASSITEJ Award for Excellence for her work for young audiences, including Little Red (7+), Whiteout (12+) Tiger Tale (7+) and Poggle (6 months – 4 years).


Natasha is passionate about working inter-generationally and with untrained dancers, and having different ages and bodies onstage is central to her practice. In 2016, Natasha established an intergenerational company, Wolf Pack, which subsequently won the ‘Most Innovative Project’ at the 2019 ‘Generations Working Together’ National awards. Natasha has been recognised for her developing practice in contemporary dance work with and for neuro-diverse audiences and children with complex needs. Her production Playful Tiger, for young people with severe complex needs, was met with critical acclaim performing across the world, including at Edinburgh’s International Children’s Festival; the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering, Norway; the Baboro Festival, Ireland; and Takeoff Festival, England.


Recognised as a world-leader in this field, she has delivered presentations on creating work with and for this audience at high profile seminars including ASSITEJ Japan, IPAY USA and Seminar Dance Hus Norway.

Primary Language
Accessibility Information
  • Relaxed (adapted to people with communication difficulties, autism or sensory impairment)
Event Format
All Contributors Presenting Via Pre-Recorded Video