Book Ailsa Dixon
Ailsa Dixon is a traditional storyteller and musician deeply rooted in place and passionate about sharing traditional tales and unheard histories. She specialises in Scottish stories, particularly those from Aberdeenshire and Orkney and is particularly interested in narratives with feminist and environmentalist themes, as well as international myths, legends and wonder tales. A traditional musician, she often incorporates traditional song and folk cello and clarsach into her performances. She enjoys collaboration and thrives working with creatives and communities to make something new from personal, traditional or historic material.
As well as contemporary performative storytelling and traditional story-sharing, Ailsa uses storytelling to engage with individuals – from running practical storytelling workshops for young people, collaborating with refugees and working with traditional tales, songs and personal histories in care homes. She is interested in applied storytelling and is passionate about building skills and confidence and empowering people through story. She has worked in school and libraries, theatres, forests, ships, celtic roundhouses and community centres engaging with diverse ranges of audiences.
Ailsa grew up in coastal Aberdeenshire and has family connections to Orkney and the Netherlands. Growing up she worked as a water sports instructor in Peterhead which fostered a love of sea stories. She is currently studying Scottish Ethnology (MA) at the University of Edinburgh, which inspirers her to thoroughly research and delve deeper into the stories and songs she shares.
Ailsa has performed work at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF), Glasgow Village Storytelling Festival, Aberystwyth Storytelling Festival and Orkney Storytelling Festival and is set to appear at the Perth Soutar Culture Festival, Beyond the Border and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her recent solo projects include a residency on the Tall Ship Glenlee creating an immersive historical storytelling piece for school children, and a personal solo show inspired by her Aberdeenshire roots –The Silver Thread: Stories from the North Sea. Her many collaborative projects include bilingual environmentalist show Hear Us and Hasten, SISF headliner Speak Out the Other, Wir Leid a celebration of Scots language and contributions to Queer Folks Tales amongst many others.