Rise 2023

Join us on Dance North’s 20th anniversary year with a three-day festival of performances, films, workshops and talks

Originally called Bodysurf Scotland and founded in 2003, Dance North Scotland has been a nexus for all things contemporary dance in Moray and the North-East for two decades. For much of that time, RISE has been at the heart of Dance North Scotland’s creative programming, and this year’s festival is a true celebration of past, present and future. An examination of lives lived, of ritual and grief. An exploration of who we are, and who we could be. A delve into feelings of exclusion and of welcome, of connection with home and with biome. It’s a programme that encompasses life within a community, and it’s an invitation to join us in taking a breath, sharing a smile and having a dance.

Tickets are on sale now! You can browse the full array of performances and participation events below or download the brochure

There is an option to buy one-day or three-day performance passes, giving access to all the shows, screenings and gatherings. Workshops and talks  need to be booked separately on a pay what you can basis.

Friday 26th May
Getting Ready, a workshop with Matthew Hawkins | READY, Matthew Hawkins | A Sensoral Lecture, Sindri Runnude |Tits & Teeth, Thick & Tight | Dance North’s 20th Birthday Party

Saturday 27th May
My-co-listening with Simone Kenyon | Embodied intelligence during turbulent times, a talk with Kirstie Simson | I am from Reykjavik, Sonia Hughes | Screen Programme |
AFTER ALL, Solène Weinachter | READY, Matthew Hawkins | AIRE: For My Mother, Kirstie Simson | Fireside Gathering (BYO)

Sunday 28th May
Movement Play Workshop for Families, with Neil Callaghan and Ruth Kent | Sunday Picnic (BYO) | Screen Programme |One Woman – I Hear YOU (excerpt), Salma Faraji | Dance Jam, led by Kirstie Simson

RISE festival of contemporary dance and performance 26-28 May 2023

Join us on Dance North’s 20th anniversary year with a three-day festival of contemporary dance and performance. Buy one or three-day performance passes and individual tickets for workshops and talks

WATCH: Rise 2023 – AIRE For My Mother

Kirstie Simson shares her passion for the exploration of freedom in this autobiographical dance solo/duet performance.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – I am from Reykjavik

It’s simple really. I come to Findhorn, I find a spot, I build myself a shelter, I take it down. I want to know what is required of a stranger in a new city and what is required of a city when the new arrival appears.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – AFTER ALL

AFTER ALL is a celebration of our vulnerable and courageous existence, Solène Weinachter melds dance, comedy, storytelling, and theatre to ask – what happens in the end? 

Dance North is 20! Birthday celebrations at RISE 2023

Join us as we celebrate 20 years of Dance North at RISE 2023! Included in this year’s festival performance passes is your entry to our celebrations – a party, a picnic, and a fireside gathering.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – READY

READY is a full-length solo by Matthew Hawkins. He is 64 and he properly started dancing in ’64. READY is his vessel for movements he has always been making, mixed with recent loves and fresh potential.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – Tits & Teeth

Thick & Tight present Tits & Teeth; a collection of performed portraits of famous and infamous people, brought back to life through dance, mime, drag and lip syncing. Expect to be entertained by the likes of Barbara Cartland, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones – and everyone’s favourite avant-garde duo, John Cage & Elaine Paige.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – A Sensoral Lecture

A Sensoral Lecture is a solo performance by and with Sindri Runudde, in which we encounter five voices through metaphoric dating scenarios.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – One Woman – I Hear YOU

Salma Faraji invites you to a sharing of her work so far, the process of a vulnerable journey. A short solo. A reading of prose, with British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation. Some thoughts on my experiences as an AIM Artist in Residence. A chance to ask questions.

TAKE PART: Contact Jam

Led by Kirstie Simson. Families are welcome, but due to the free-flowing nature of the movement, we would ask that parents keep close watch over their young people, to avoid any collisions or calamities.

WORKSHOP: Movement Play for Families

Music. Props. Collaboration. Fun! Join us for a creative movement session for all the family, from tots to grandparents. Be prepared to take off your shoes and socks, to connect with each other, and to explore different ways of moving!

TALK: Kirstie Simson

All I will ever need to know in this life is already inherently present within me.In a state of alert relaxed surrender and a quietness of being, an intense listening facilitates deep communion – where the movement of life and who I am are experienced as one and the same.

TAKE PART: My-co-listening with Simone Kenyon

My-co-listening creates a moment for us to encounter and develop our sense of kinship towards our fungal communities and wider ecologies.


Get ready for the day with a gentle somatic movement session with Matthew Hawkins.Enjoy a gentle but telling arc of continuous moves, with focus on the body: gradually opening your mind to a day of dance performances.

WATCH: Rise 2023 – Screen Programme

A look at dance in film from a new perspective. Following their experience in making a film version of the wildly successful dance theatre performance, SAVAGE, Dance North Youth Company have curated a programme of dance on screen that captured their collective imagination.

RISE 2023 Programme Notes

Programme notes for the performances, artists and creative teams in RISE 2023, festival of contemporary dance and performance.