International cast set for Moray’s first Festival of Contemporary Dance

Moray is set to host its first ever festival of contemporary dance when Findhorn-based Bodysurf Scotland host the ‘Rise Dance Festival’ later this month.

An impressive international cast of prominent dancers are set to make their way to the Universal Hall, including Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion.

Burrows is one of the UK’s leading choreographers, performing around the world having started his career at the Royal Ballet in London. He has a long standing working relationship with Fargion, who is a musician and performer originally from Milan who studied music at the University of Natal.

A local connection at the Festival will be Karl Jay-Lewin, who moved from his native Forres to Edinburgh. He teamed up with Fargion in producing the collaborative live dance and music work “Extremely bad dancing to Extremely French music” (see video below).

Companies appearing at the Festival will include Compagnia TPO from Italy and Inside Arts from Australia.

The Festival has been a long-standing vision for Karl Jay-Lewin, who said: “We have been programming an incredible array of dance over the past ten years – performances led by local and international artists and teachers who have brought together established dance lovers, educators, audiences new to contemporary dance and visitors to this unique area of Scotland.

“I wanted to create a festival programme which brings all these elements together, exploring edges and pushing boundaries of the art form in a refreshing and relaxed environment.

“We are passionate about dance, art and where we live – from live performances to professional training and workshops in a range of disciplines – we love sharing our passion.”

The Rise Dance Festival will welcome first-timers to seasoned enthusiasts, families and individuals for what they say will be a “cutting edge dance”. Tickets for the festival, which will be held from Wednesday, May 21 to Sunday, May 25, can be obtained online via while further information can be obtained by calling 01309 691661 or by email to

Leave a comment