Simon Harper is from Birmingham, where, aged six, a dance company visited his school to deliver a short workshop. A few days later he spied on a church hall ballet class whilst keeping goal during a football match with his twin brother and school friends. A talent discovered, and instantaneously in love with dance, theatre and the performing arts, he went on to train at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance between 1985 and 1988.
Simon ran away to a Hungarian circus in Mexico, and returned to the UK where for eighteen years he enjoyed a successful and varied career as a performer in national tours and in London's West End, dancing in musicals such as Gypsy, Me and My Girl, Grease, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 42nd Street and Chicago the Musical.
Already thinking about a career transition from dance performance, it was during Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre in 2004 that Simon discovered the power of advertising and media to help profile, promote and sell a long-running show; inspired by it, he began working for Sadler's Wells as a press intern, then press office coordinator, before returning to his hometown in 2007 to work as media and PR officer, then manager, for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Elmhurst Ballet School. During this time and funded by Dancers' Career Development, Simon graduated a Master of Philosophy in Educational Studies from the University of Birmingham in 2012.
After seven years with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Simon founded Simon Harper Public Relations, and has since been working for a variety of clients in the arts industry, ranging from independent artists to established organisations including Birmingham Hippodrome and DanceXchange for their co-produced International Dance Festival Birmingham 2014 (and 2016) and Dance Consortium's The Trocks UK Tour 2015, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 UK Tour 2016, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater UK Tour 2016 and Danza Contemporanea de Cuba UK Tour 2017.
Simon's career as a performer and in media and PR has taken him around the world, liaising with artists, media and company stakeholders during tours to Canada, Mexico, Singapore, China, Japan, USA and Europe, working with renowned international publications and broadcasters. He has promoted a wide range of learning and participation initiatives and worked with development and fundraising departments.
His extensive experience as a performer and sound knowledge of the media and public relations industry offer his clients a full understanding of their needs, delivering an excellent service across all forms of media.
Photograph by Gibson Kochanek Studio