Dance festival draws more appreciation from Findhorn visitors

Rise 2016 festival drew appreciative audiences to Findhorn
Rise 2016 festival drew appreciative audiences to Findhorn

THE FINDHORN PENINSULA was the venue for another stunning dance festival over the weekend, with the Rise Festival boasting leading dancers from around the UK.

Featuring a festival programme produced by Bodysurf Scotland, Rise first made an appearance in 2014 and drew an audience of over 600 to Findhorn’s Universal Hall. Last year Bodysurf were granted £83,000 by Creative Scotland’s ‘Open Project Fund’ and a further £8125 from Shared Care Scotland.

Throughout the weekend from Friday to Sunday a series of ‘spontaneous free’ performances were given by Seke Chimutengwende, a performer who moves between dance, poetry and stand-up comedy, storytelling and politics!

Festival director Karl Jay-Lewin explained: ‘There was 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.

“There is 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 is 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.”

The festival once again welcomed first-timers, seasoned enthusiasts, families and individuals for what was a weekend of cutting-edge dance set against Findhorn’s beaches and woodlands.