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Getting SAVAGE on a Moray beach

By Alistair Whitfield

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The sand dunes at Findhorn were the setting as a local dance company staged a unique adaptation of a classic story.


'SAVAGE' was inspired by the Lord of Flies, a dark tale of what happens after a group of schoolboys are marooned on a desert island.

Putting a fresh spin on things the Dance North Youth Company production featured an all-female cast.

In addition, audiences were given headphones so they could follow the sound score as they were led walking through the Moray landscape by the dancers.


Gail Sneddon, the director, said: "SAVAGE started as a piece to be performed in a traditional theatre setting.

"However, when we were plunged into the second lockdown we decided to use the forest and dunes near Findhorn.

"The initial ideas for the work came from questioning the main themes of Lord of the Flies.

"We used the book as a stimulus for discussion, looking at it all from the perspective of what if it had been a group of young women.

"It was an incredible experience choreographing and devising SAVAGE with Dance North Youth Company.

"They are an extremely talented and courageous group of young performers."


Rehearsals for the production began on Zoom until April when the dancers were able to continue out in the landscape.

SAVAGE succeeded in capturing the imagination of the audience.

Wendy Niblock said: "It was a beautiful and immersive experience that was thought-provoking, challenging, highly accomplished and truly memorable. It was dance at its best."

Lesley Coutts agreed: "The use of the landscape was haunting and wearing the headphones made it a completely immersive experience.

The dancers themselves also enjoyed themselves.

Millie Goodyear said: "Being part of SAVAGE was incredible.

"I have grown so much as a dancer, done things I never thought I’d have the chance to do, and have made memories that I will cherish forever.’


Dance North Youth Company aims to create imaginative and experimental work that bringing together some of Moray’s most courageous young dancers with professional choreographers.

It is open to anyone aged over 14 who has more than three years of dance experience.

Contact info@dancenorth.scot

SAVAGE was part of the RISE festival of contemporary dance and performance, which will continue until November at indoor and outdoor venues in Findhorn and across Moray.

More information here

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