Featured dancer Charlie Morrissey is suspended in mid-air above the floor in a dance studio. Text reads: RISE 2021, festival of contemporary dance & performance.

Rise 2021 Festival of Contemporary Dance and Performance

New shows announced for August and September

We had to skip a year. RISE 2020 had to be cancelled. This was for the same reasons a lot of things didn’t happen last year and there’s no question that cancellation was necessary, but… we still felt its absence.

At Dance North, we think that watching dance changes and enriches you. We’re proud that we’re able to bring the most interesting artists from across the globe to just down the road. We’re proud that we get to showcase contemporary dance and performance made in the north of Scotland. And now we’re proud to bring those performances back, live – as RISE 2021. 

It’s a bit different this year. Usually, we host a busy programme of performances across a single weekend, but this time we’re staging indoor and outdoor performances across several months, in Findhorn and across Moray.  

Every show will be staged in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines and with your safety in mind. Prices will be kept low with most shows costing £10 or £6 for concessions, and some performances will be free or will have the option to Pay What You Can. If you decide you don’t feel confident about coming along, we’ll make refunds simple and straightforward for you. 

‘It’s my pleasure to invite you to Rise 2021; a rich, jam-packed festival which this year, uniquely, for the first time, will stretch over several months. The artists we’ve invited are exceptional. This programme promises to be sometimes tender, sometimes provocative, often funny and always engrossing. Join us and wend your way through performances that explore themes of the public and private self, emotional vulnerability, a sense of place and a sense of belonging.’
Karl Jay-Lewin, Festival Director 

It means a great deal that we finally get to host live performances again, in person, so we truly hope to see you there, starting from the first weekend of July.

Following success of the first two shows of RISE 2021 over the first weekend of July, we are now able to announce new performances for August and September!

Newly announced:

Neither Here Nor There
Jo Fong & Eddie LaddViewed from a distance, three small figures are walking up a green hillside, which inclines upward from left to right. The figures are wearing bright waterproof jackets and are outlined against a grey, cloudy sky, which fills the upper left of the image.

Findhorn EcoVillage
Meet at Findhorn Hive, 567 West Whins, The Park, Findhorn, Forres, IV36 3SH

Saturday 14 August: 16.00
Sunday 15 August: 13.00 / 16.00
Pay What You Can!
Guide price: £10 / £6 (concession)
Running time: 90 minutes

When was the last time you made time to talk?

Eddie and Jo host a series of conversations that happen over 6 minutes.

Weather permitting there will be a walk, natter, chat, table, chairs, come in sit down.

There will be solos, duets and ensemble moments.

Complexity takes time, it requires multiple voices, many levels of expertise and patience in the unspectacular.

Marathon of Intimacies
Anushiye Yarnell & Jo Fong
Jo Fong and Anushiye Yarnell are dancing in contact on a wooden floor. Jo is wearing a purple top and blue trousers, and facing down with one hand flat against the floor and the other wrapped around Anushiye's ankle. Anushiye is slightly above Jo, wearing a pink top and darker blue trousers. Anushiye has her face pressed against Jo's foot.

Universal Hall, Findhorn, Forres, IV36 3TZ
Saturday 21 August: 15.00 / 19.00
Sunday 22 August: 15.00
£10 / £6 (concession)

Artists Anushiye Yarnell and Jo Fong will be in residency at Dance North in the week in the leading up to their presentations of Marathon of Intimacies.

The performance is an embodied conversation between two women about getting what they need.

Marathon is a word associated with endurance and winning.
Intimacy is overused in describing performance.
These two words marathon and intimacy don’t fit together.

All the intimacies that have been part of our lives, could they be with us while we’re dancing?

Is this a Waste Land?
Charlotte Spencer ProjectsImage description: In a field, a woman wearing warm clothes, headphones and red work gloves stands facing us, one hand raised, her gaze focused to the side. Further back, another woman, also wearing headphones and gloves, walks out of the image to the right. In the foreground is a sculptural assemblage of an old car tyre, pipes and wires. In the far distance, there is a row of trees and a pylon.

Milltown Airfield (former RAF base)
IV30 8NE
Friday 3 & Saturday 4 September
£10 / £6 (concession)

A performance through headphones for disused spaces.

Set on an empty plot of land at the former RAF Milltown base, this immersive performance invites us to re-imagine how we value our landscape, homes and communities.

As day dips towards night you’re given headphones and offered instructions amidst a constantly shifting soundscape that is delicate and thoughtful one moment, infectious and playful the next. Many worlds are created, destroyed and re-purposed in a generous playground built by everyone.

Charlotte Spencer Projects work in unusual spaces in order to open up new forms of conversation. We invite you to enter their intelligent and transformative world. Following the past year of separation and isolation Is this a Waste Land? asks us to explore ways of being together again.

Past Performances:

Dance North Youth Company
A young dancer in a black t-shirt stands in the woods amid gnarled trees and reaches toward the camera
Findhorn EcoVillage, Forres, IV36 3TZ
Saturday 3 July & Sunday 4 July 2021
13.00 / 16.00 / 19.00
£10 / £6 (concession)
Running time: 50 minutes

You may forget, but let me tell you this: someone in the future will think of us‘ – Sappho

SAVAGE is an immersive dance theatre performance piece set in the stunning landscape of the Findhorn dunes. We, the audience are guided by young women, the last of their kind, into an elemental world outside of time and place. We pass through mythic spirals and labyrinths and are drawn deeper into the centre of an unfolding mystery.  Who are these women? Who are we to them? What is their story? What do they want from us?

Each one of us will journey together yet alone listening to the soundtrack on headphones.

Your footsteps echo in the land that once was ours‘ – The Women


Double Bill: The Solo Piece & At Once
Matteo Fargion / Karl Jay-Lewin

Universal Hall, Findhorn, Forres, IV36 3TZ
Friday 2 July – 16:00 / 19:30
Saturday 3 July – 12:00
Pay What You Can

Two performances by two artists; old friends and collaborators. Each reaching into their past to adapt and update an older work into something new.

‘The Solo Piece’ (2018) is a re-translation of Morton Feldman’s ‘For John Cage’, first borrowed to make ‘Both Sitting Duet’ with Jonathan Burrows in 2002, their first duo performance.  But this time it’s only Fargion on stage waving his arms, and this lonelier counterpoint is now between his voice and the meaningless gestures he makes. 

At Once (2021) is a re-adaptation of a solo made and performed by Karl Jay-Lewin from 2009-11. The work was commissioned by an international group of individual dance artists, from seminal US choreographer, Deborah Hay. Each dancer, following Deborah’s choreographic score and direction, made their own unique adaptation of the work. Ten years later, during one of Deborah’s many visits to Findhorn, Karl thought it would be interesting to start all over again 

When and Where

July – November 2021
In Findhorn and across Moray

Next events: Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 August


£10 / £6 (concession)

Some performances have the option to Pay What You Can

Tickets will be available to book online and advance booking is essential