Laurel Swift is a performer, composer and workshop leader.
Laurel is the founder and choreographer of Morris Offspring, she is one half of 'Under her Skin', with performance storyeller, Debs Newbold, plays with Gadarene, Ben Moss, and The Gloworms. Laurel has been invovled in many creative folk arts projects.
Laurel is the founder and choreographer of Morris Offspring, who have appeared on BBC2’s Culture Show, sold out the South Bank, and been the only morris dance team to undertake a major tour of UK Arts Centres. In 2011 she ran Must Come Down, a huge performance involving 4 musicians, 1 storyteller and 36 young morris dancers from the UK, the USA and Canada. The Furnace, Morris Offspring’s 4th and final professional show, sees the group working with Faustus – Paul Sartin, Benji Kirkpartick (Bellowhead) and Saul Rose (War Horse). Morris Offspring did it's final performance in 2013, although there were some brief reappearances with Steeleye Span for their Wintersmith tour, live onstage at the Albert Hall for the 2014 BBC Radio2 Folk Awards to celebrate the life of Cecil Sharp.
Laurel worked with the performance storyeller, Debs Newbold. Their show, Under Her Skin, was directed by John Wright and gives an ancient British folktale a strong contemporary retelling. It is a fully integrated show, inventive and theatrical yet, sharing the tale equally between Debs’ charismatic storytelling voice and Laurel’s double bass, fiddle and clogs.
Laurel plays double bass with Gadarene, a high-energy band blending obscure 18th century manuscript tunes with modern beats. She plays fiddles, dances and sings in a duo with ben Moss, who also sings and plays fiddle and melodeon. They have a harmony-rich repertoire of predominatly English folk songs and old and new tunes. Finally, Laurel plays fiddle with irresistible ceilidh-dance groovers, The Gloworms. She has been awarded two opportunities to showcase compositions with innovative folk organisation, Distil: Pocket Garden (2007) and London Haven (2008).
Laurel is currently lead tutor for London Youth Folk Ensemble, and regualry leads workshops for EFDSS adult and youth programmes. She has led projects with and performed under a variety of contemporary dance artists including Freddie Opoku-Addaie, Benjamin Dunks and Kate Flatt. Laurel has taught morris for both theatre and film worked with Tom Morris for the Bristol Old Vic’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Laurel spent 12 years as the Artistic Director of Shooting Roots, who run creative folk arts projects for and by young people, and continues to run regular classes in London and at festivals.