• Photo: Hannah Edy

  • Photo: Ludos Des Cognets

  • Photo: Ludos Des Cognets

  • Biography

    Layla Rosa is a highly experienced creator and director of her own solo and collaborative work as an aerial practitioner, visual artist and theatre maker. She is a co-founder, artist, director and curator within the acclaimed performance collective Shunt which creates large-scale sight specific performance. Layla is also an experienced teacher and choreographer working with both the London Youth Circus and adult programme at The National Centre for Circus Arts (Circus Space). She also worked as an aerial tutor for the Paralympic project in 2012 amongst other things.

    A graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama with a BA in English and Drama, Layla trained at the The National Centre for Circus Arts in a range of aerial disciplines specialising in static trapeze and corde lisse. Layla is also an accomplished singer and trained in jazz at The City Lit.


  • Repertoire

    What If…? 2008
    Strings on Strings 2010
    Duelling Banjos
    Shake – the Bellydance 2008
    Something 2006
    Blind 2003
    Sull Lull 2003
    A Turkish Tale 2003
    Beneath my Feet 2010

Layla Rosa

During her work as one of the Artistic Directors of Shunt, Layla Rosa was one of the first British based artists to reinvent and redefine her practice by working across the artforms of circus, movement, moving image, theatre and sound. Her commitment was to develop a marriage of form and content, and in doing so to find a means of expression for her personal, cultural and political concerns.

Crying Out Loud supported Layla by co-commissioning What If…?  a semi-autobiographical piece that unravelled cultural perceptions of the veil. The work was developed in association with Jacksons Lane, Farnham Maltings and Shunt and toured to Farnham Maltings, Nuffield Theatre Southampton, London and to La brèche in Cherbourg.

Layla’s residence at La brèche signified the beginning of Crying Out Loud’s relationship with the French creation centre in 2009.

In 2010 Layla was one of the artists mentored through Crying Out Loud’s Pipped at the Post scheme, a bespoke mentoring programme devised for UK artists who were runners up in the Jeunes Talent Cirque Europe programme. As part of her mentoring she was given support and inspiration by choreographer and filmmaker Rosemary Lee for the creation of a new show Beneath My Feet for children and families.


  • ‘I think this is an important piece of contemporary British performance…the unique collision of cultural exploration, use of space and technical skill indicate that a significant piece of work will result from a sustained period of development.’

    Bill Gee, independent producer