Igor & Moreno, Liz Aggiss & Robbie Synge among festival highlights

Rise, an acclaimed festival of contemporary dance and performance on the Findhorn peninsula, is to return from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 May.

Featuring a winning line-up of artists from across the UK, Rise 2016 promises a programme that is imaginative and engaging, sometimes tender, sometimes provocative, often funny and always entertaining – all against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful parts of the Scottish coastline.

The festival, programmed by Bodysurf Scotland, made its debut in 2014, drawing an audience of over 600 people to Findhorn’s Universal Hall. In 2015 Bodysurf Scotland received £83,000 from Creative Scotland through its Open Project Fund, as well as £8,125 from Shared Care Scotland through its Better Breaks Fund, to develop its work. Now, following last year’s Wee Rise dance festival (for children aged 0-7) and Up Rise dance festival (for young people), Rise is set to make a triumphant return with a programme of acclaimed dance work.

Highlights include:

  • Slap & Tickle, a new show by maverick performance artist Liz Aggiss, described as ‘a dark and ribald physical commentary on cultural mores, forays and sexual taboos’.
  • Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) by Lost Dog, inspired by Milton’s epic poem and hailed as ‘a triumphant gallop through the story of creation’ by the Guardian.
  • The Nodines (An Interactive Dance Show For Families), a laugh-out-loud show for all ages about a family of dancers.
  • An Invitation… by Jo Fong, a show about connection, conversation, spontaneity and uncertainty described by the Herald (in a five star review) as ‘radical, witty and entertainingly thought-provoking’.
  • Idiot-Syncrasy, Igor Urzelai and Moreno Solinas’s Total Theatre-nominated show described as ‘stunning, innovative, bold, daring, clever, funny and sexy’ (The Quotidian Times).
  • Douglas, Robbie Synge’s utterly absorbing, unpredictable show about our physical relationship with the objects around us.
  • Nora Invites Aggiss, Burrows & Fargion, in which dancers dancers Eleanor Sikorski and Flora Wellesley Wesley, AKA Nora (‘intellectually curious, funny and rude’ – the Guardian) present a double bill of exuberant new duets made especially for them by renowned dance makers Liz Aggiss and Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion.

There will also be spontaneous free performances throughout the festival by Seke Chimutengwende, a performer who moves between dance, poetry, stand-up, storytelling and politics.

Festival director Karl Jay-Lewin said: There’s a noticeable buzz around this, our strongest festival yet. What excites me most is that it’s equally audible amongst the visiting artists and audience – local and further afield. And there’s a real festival feel to the event, helped by the fact that the programme, like the best curated line-ups or exhibitions, sits together well. All the work has a distinct individual identity; it’s thoughtful, sometimes provocative, very entertaining and often very funny, and each show also complements the rest of the programme. Context is always important to me and this is where we come up rural trumps – you can take a walk through the woods and gorse in full bloom to an empty Moray Firth beach, experience quality contemporary dance and performance, and then enjoy a late night drink and chat at the bar or around an outdoor fire. It’s got to be a winner.’

Rise Dance Festival welcomes first-timers, seasoned enthusiasts, families and individuals for a weekend of cutting edge dance set against the beautiful Findhorn peninsular with its idyllic beaches and woodlands. Tickets can be purchased online at and the full programme can be viewed at www.bodysurfscotland.co.uk

Igor & Moreno perform Idiot Syncrasy at The Place theatre.

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