Media release: All or Nothing bring the joy of giant swings to post-Covid Scotland

The Swings 2 (credit Suzanne Heffron)

EDINBURGH’S All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, one of the UK’s leading aerial dance companies, is delighted to announce the Scottish tour of their new outdoor, interactive and family focused production, The Swings.

The Swings is part breathtaking aerial duet, staged on a magnificent, larger than life, five-metre-high swing set, and part installation, where the audience is invited to have a swing whilst listening to a sound installation of memories evoked from childhood swinging.

As Scotland opens up for live performance The Swings will be performed at 23 outdoor venues the length and breadth of Scotland from Saturday 26 June 2021, in Lerwick, Shetland, to Wednesday 18 August 2021, for the Lochwinnoch Arts Festival.

Outdoor venues include town, city and country parks and gardens, community centres, an old bowling green, a city centre public square, a rugby pitch, and a car park.

The Swings, staged using a giant swing set with two swings, is a 15-minute choreographed aerial dance duet performed at intervals throughout the day.

Inspired by age-old playground games and memories the playful dynamic between the two aerial artists is key.

Using the long ropes and swing seats as their apparatus they begin by exploring this unfamiliar environment, swinging, and jumping off, climbing and hanging whichever way they can; their voices unable to contain their excitement.

They gradually build the energy performing a range of stunning tricks, flipping, somersaulting, and tumbling, as they soar high above the socially distanced audience below.

Following every performance, audiences will be invited to have some time on the swings. As old and young experience the sheer joy of swinging they will be accompanied by a soundscape made up of memories, thoughts and feelings of being on a swing.

Fragments of these conversations, from the company’s friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, including three-year old Nancy and Gillian in her 70’s, can be heard. Ideas of freedom, leisure, togetherness and shared space resonate most strongly with the circumstances we have all found ourselves in for more than a year.

The Swings, an interactive event for all the family, was conceived by All or Nothing Dance Aerial Theatre’s artistic director, Jennifer Paterson, who has also directed the production with Nic Green.

Jennifer Paterson collaborated with the performers, Chrissie Ardill, Claire Crook, Beverley Grant and Danuta Ramos, on the aerial choreography. This touring show has been designed by Becky Minto with sound design by Yas Clarke.

The Swings was originally commissioned by Imaginate’s Family Encounters and the Merchant City Festival. It has been supported by The Work Room (Glasgow) and Macrobert, with National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland’s Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance.

Jennifer Paterson, artistic director of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, said: “The inspiration for The Swings came from spending time in a playpark as a mum, being around swings again and seeing how much joy they bring.

“Swings are so integral to your childhood. They are in almost every park. If you’re lucky you have one in your garden, or maybe a rope swing on a tree. You hang about them as a teenager. The feeling of being on a swing and the excitement of building it up higher and higher never leaves you. It’s such a visceral feeling – the air rushing past your face, the laughing, the rise and fall of your stomach. Will you jump off? How high can you go? What tricks can you do?”

Jaine Lumsden, theatre officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Audiences across the country can look forward to All or Nothing’s fun, inventive and multi-sensory circus experience touring to outdoor spaces this summer in partnership with some of Scotland’s much-loved theatres and festivals. This family-friendly show is made possible thanks to the generosity of National Lottery players, who raise £30 million for good causes across the UK every week.”

We all love being on a swing and we know you do too! Catch The Swings at an outdoor venue near you this summer. Watch All or Nothing’s exceptional aerial performers then have a go yourself.


Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: | M: +44 (0)7913 951717

Image attached:

Aerial artists from All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre performing in the touring production of The Swings. Please credit Suzanne Heffron

Further images can be downloaded from Dropbox

Notes for editors:

The Swings – Summer Tour 2021 Listings

A giant swing set, five metres high. Two oversized swings and two exceptional aerial artists. A 23-venue Scottish tour. An excited audience looking on, desperate to have a go.

Saturday 26 to Tuesday 29 June 2021

King George V Playpark, King Harald Street, Lerwick, Shetland ZE1 0EU

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30

Shetland Arts 01595 745500

Saturday 03 July 2021

Outdoors at Prestonpans Community Centre, Preston Road, Prestonpans EH32 9QS

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30

The Brunton / 0131 653 524

Sunday 04 July 2021

Tweed Green, Peebles

See website for performance details

Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles, The Scottish Borders 01721 725777

Monday 05 and Tuesday 06 July 2021

The Orangerie beside Restoration Yard

Dalkeith Country Park, Dalkeith, EH22 1ST

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30 / 0131 654 1666

Friday 09 to Sunday 11 July 2021

George Square, Glasgow G2 1DH

Merchant City Festival

See website for performance details

Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 July 2021

The Bowling Green, 49 McCulloch Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow G41 1SU
Part of the Tramway Beyond Walls season

See website for performance details / 0845 330 3501

Friday 16 July 2021

Arts Building Lawn, 15 The Scores, St Andrews KY16 9AX

See website for performance details

Byre Theatre, University of St Andrews /

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July 2021

MacRosty Park, Crieff – near the Victorian bandstand

See website for performance details

Strathearn Arts, Crieff /  01764 655556

Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 July 2021

New Galloway Park

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30

CatStrand, High Street, New Galloway, Castle Douglas DG7 3RN

The Glenkens Community & Arts Trust (GCAT),  01644 420 374 /

Friday 23 July

The Bridge Car Park, Easterhouse

Platform Arts Centre, The Bridge, 1000 Westerhouse Road, Easterhouse, Glasgow, G34 9JW

Performances at  13:00, 14:00 and 15:30 Box Office – 0141 276 9696 / 0141 276 9670

Saturday 24 July 2021

Front Lawn at Dean Castle Country Park, Dean Rd, Kilmarnock KA3 1XB

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30

East Ayrshire Leisure / 01563 554900

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Top rugby pitch adjacent to the Barn, Banchory

The Barn, Burn O Bennie, Banchory AB31 5QA

Performances at 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:30 / 01330 825431

Wednesday 28 July 2021

In front of Moray Arts Centre, Field of Dreams, Findhorn, Forres IV36 3TA

See website for performance details

Universal Hall Promotions 01309 691170

Thursday 29 July 2021

Bellfield Park, Inverness IV2 4SZ

See website for performance details

Eden Court 01463 234234

Saturday 31 July and Sunday 01 August 2021

Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness

Performances at 11:00, 12:30, 14:00, 15.30

01955 641434 /

Wednesday 04 and Thursday 05 August 2021

Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum of the Isles, Armadale Sleat, Isle of Skye IV45 8RS

See website for performance details

SEALL / 01470 844207 /

Saturday 07 August 2021

The Nevis Centre Court, Nevis Centre, An Aird, Fort William PH33 6AN

See website for performance details 01397 700707 /

Sunday 08 August 2021

The Rockfield Centre Carpark, The Rockfield Centre, Rockfield Road, Oban, Argyll PA34 5DQ

See website for performance details

The Rockfield Centre 01631 701231

Tuesday 10 August 2021

See website for location and performance details

Dunoon Burgh Hall 01369 701776 /

Wednesday 11 August 2021

See website for location and performance details

Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1HJ 01475 723723 /

Thursday 12 August 2021

See website for location and performance details

MacRobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA 01786 466666

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August 2021

See website for location and performance details

Govanhill International Festival, 99 Calder Street, Govanhill, Glasgow G42 7RA 0141 433 2999

Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 August 2021

School Event

Loch Barr Leisure Centre, 1 Newton of Barr, Lochwinnoch PA12 4JB

Lochwinnoch Arts Festival

All or Nothing Dance Theatre online

Website –

The Swings production information –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Instagram –

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow Creative Scotland on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:

The Swings – production information

The Swings was conceived by Jennifer Paterson

Directed by: Nic Green and Jennifer Paterson

Designer: Becky Minto

Sound designer: Yas Clarke

Aerial choreography: Jennifer Paterson with the performers

Production manager: Elle Taylor

Technician: Jonny Reed

Rigging: Claire Crook

Stage management and front-of-house: Lucy May Wilson

Performers: Chrissie Ardill, Claire Crook, Beverley Grant and Danuta Ramos

Biographies in brief

Jennifer Paterson is artistic director and choreographs and directs most of the company’s work. She is an aerial and dance director who began as a performer in dance theatre and aerial before focusing on directing in 2015. She has over 25 years’ experience in participatory and professional settings, in all kinds of environments, for a variety of audiences including families, and in bringing a creative team together.

Nic Green is an award-winning, Glasgow-based performance maker. Her work varies in style and method, with forms often ‘found’ through collaborative and relational practices with people, place and material. She has received several awards, commissions and recognitions including A Herald Angel; Best Production, Dublin Fringe; The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance; and a Total Theatre Award for best physical/visual theatre Edinburgh Fringe.

Outdoor and site-specific work includes Away With The Birds by Hanna Tuulikki, and Slowlo, made for different woodland across Europe. She is thrilled to be Artist in Residence at NTS where Nic and Jen met working on the Like Flying performance project.

Yas Clarke is a sound artist and musician, often collaborating with performance makers and choreographers.

Yas creates sonic and musical processes that explore the human relationship to its environment, finding the boundaries between organic and synthetic; human and natural; continuous and discrete. His live work has toured to festivals and arts centres around the world and recorded work has aired on stations including WFMU, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

Outdoor work includes Clifton Suspension Bridge Harp, commissioned by Bristol University; Sinfonidria, a site specific musical installation at Diga di Ridracoli, Emilia-Romagna, Italy; and The Water Is Wide for a mini-festival in Bristol harbour.

Yas and Nic previously collaborated on TURN – a performance for Govan Graving Docks, and Seven Bridges, created for a 100 year-old house in Japan. And on Like Flying for National Theatre Scotland where they met Jen.

Becky Minto has designed over 100 productions for theatre. Her work was recently exhibited at the V&A and she has won awards for her stage design. Outwith theatre Becky has designed both indoor and outdoor productions for All or Nothing and Upswing (a BME-led circus company and NPO based in England).

She was associate designer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games; Land of Giants Belfast/London 2012 Festival and This Side The Other Side, Turku’s Capital of Culture Opening Ceremony for Walk The Plank in 2011. For NTS, Ignition, Granite and Shift were all large scale, site specific productions in Scotland.


Chrissie Ardill is professional dancer and aerialist with over a decade of performance experience, Chrissie works extensively with a wide range of companies, from Glasgow to Limerick and Skegness to Puerto Rico.

Chrissie has worked regularly with All or Nothing since 2012, in theatres, forests, on the sides of buildings or flying high over crowds from a crane. She also regularly teaches across a range of disciplines, choreographs dance for stage and screen and does movement direction for theatre.

Claire Crook is an accomplished circus theatre performer, specialising in Corde lisse. She is a teacher of aerial skills and a circus rigger. She has worked widely in circus theatre, traditional and contemporary circus, cabaret, corporate and community events.

She is particularly interested in developing narrative, emotional content and theatricality in her work and using spoken text with aerial. Previous credits include Theatr Genedlaithol Cymru- Y Storm, Osborne & What- Birdy, Incandescence, Music of the Spheres, Paper Doll Militia- Loops End, Citrus Arts- Looping the Loop, The Gramophones Theatre- Tarzanna, Chimera- Drudwen.

Beverley Grant is a dancer and circus artist she trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London.

Since graduating, she has performed nationally and internationally with multiple dance, opera and aerial companies. In 2015 Beverley was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship in collaboration with Dance Base. She has also subsequently held funded residency weeks at IACC and Assembly Roxy. She is currently performing regularly with Fidget Feet, Aerial Cirque, All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre (AoN) and Wired Aerial Theatre.

Danuta Ramos has been performing worldwide as a circus artist and dancer since 2005 and is one of the leading acrobats and aerlialists in Scotland.

Danuta has received widespread acclaim for her work as a soloist and in partnership with Suspended Motion, with support from Creative Scotland, Circus Space Lab Time, Conflux and Dance Base.  Danuta has worked extensively as an aerialist, acrobat, dancer and physical theatre performer, with companies such as Batman Live, Emergency Exit Arts, Iron Oxide, Boilerhouse, Wired Aerial Theatre, All or Nothing, Dante or Die Theatre company, Vision Mechanics, Lets Circus and Conflux.

All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre is a performance company and charity working at the intersection of aerial, dance and theatre. Their mission is to blend breathtaking performance and participation in aerial and dance, developing skills and making them accessible.

Their work crosses the boundaries between the floor, air and the space between. It merges aerial skills with dance theatre, creating exhilarating performance, enriching participation and pioneering the development of aerial performance in Scotland.

Passionate about creating a diverse artistic and engagement programme for a diverse population, their work crosses art-forms, disciplines and partnership, enhanced by training and advocacy. They have earned a reputation of excellence and generosity, presenting performances and delivering learning activities of consistently high quality and openness. They are industry specialists, providing essential expertise to a growing number of companies and makers.

All or Nothing began touring Scotland in 2010/11 with Uncharted Waters, going on to perform small to mid-scale theatre extensively across the country. Their last touring show, Heroes, toured 19 venues from main stage to village hall, including a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. Much of their work encompasses outdoor and large-scale spectacle, developing skill and expertise in outdoor and non-theatre based performance.

They have hung from cranes for the award-winning Paisley Halloween Festival, flown through the trees in the outdoor sound and light shows Enchanted Forest and Archerfield’s Christmas Fairy Trail, and danced down iconic buildings such as the Glasgow Science Centre for Cryptic’s Sound to Sea, Princes Street for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, and, a company favourite, Celtic Connections Bothy Culture and Beyond with the Grit Orchestra and Danny Macaskill in 2018.

The company has experience of working in non-theatre spaces, with walk up audiences and participants. They have worked with teams of creative freelancers, on high profile events and managed a huge range of size and scale of projects. They have a track record of partnering with many kinds of organisations including Luminate, National Theatre Scotland, Out of the Blue Arts & Education Trust, Beacon Arts Centre and Renfrewshire Council.

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