Extremely Pedestrian Chorales

Karl Jay-Lewin and Matteo Fargion


Karl Jay-Lewin and Matteo Fargion’s work is rooted in the postmodern, experimental dance scene. They aim to break down barriers between audiences and contemporary dance/visual theatre, demystifying the artform and encouraging participation. Jay-Lewin is a mature, established artist whose international work has particularly focused on Europe. He has collaborated with the seminal US dance artist Deborah Hay and as Creative Director of Dance North Scotland, he programmes RISE! Festival. Fargion is a composer and performer best known in the UK for his award-winning collaborations with dancemaker Jonathan Burrows. He also composes for theatre and teaches composition at Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's dance school in Brussels.

Extremely Pedestrian Chorales presents the everyday experience of the pedestrian as an act of beauty, meaning and gentle comedy. In 36 short dances, simple movements are structured by translations of J.S. Bach's famous Chorales –  choral harmonies originally written to encourage public participation in the singing of the Mass. With subtle wit, the relationships between the dancers shine through. The piece has a low-tech, barebones aesthetic. It is can be performed in a range of spaces – community halls, black box theatres or interesting architectural spaces. The company encourages local choirs to perform Bach’s Chorales live as part of the performances.

Extremely Pedestrian Chorales is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In the press

"... clever, funny, and thought-provoking"  ★★★★★ The Herald
"... perfectly capturing the rhythmic power and grandeur of the mighty JS Bach in all his exhilarating glory"  ★★★★ The Scotsman

Production details

  • Choreographer

    Karl Jay-Lewin
  • Designer

    Composer: Matteo Fargion
  • Number of people on stage

    4 (plus optional local choir)
  • Number of people in touring company

  • Freight

    Excess baggage

    1 standard suitcase

  • Touring Availability

    From September 2019
  • Scale of venue

    Small-scale (capacity up to 400)
  • Minimum performance space

    9m x 9m
  • Text-based

    Light (very little or no text)

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Summerhall, Rose Bruford at Upper Church, 1 Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
  • Production dates

    20–24 AUGUST
  • Production times

  • Duration

    55 MINS
  • Audience capacity




Integral to Extremely Pedestrian Chorales is its programme of participatory activities tailored to different community and professional groups. These activities offer an introduction to Bach’s Chorales and the concepts and complex structures behind Extremely Pedestrian Chorales. Everyone, whether professional or novice, is guided in working with extracts of the choreographic scores to make and perform their own extremely pedestrian chorale. The joyful and light-hearted mood that underpins the performance, extends into the participation and allows the complex structure of the work to be explored by the audience in a workshop environment.

Additional productions

Extremely Bad Dancing to Extremely French Music, by Karl Jay-Lewin and Matteo Fargion.



I Think Not, solo choreographed by Deborah Hay, performed by Karl Jay-Lewin