City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh International Festival: Dance Preview

By Vivien Devlin - Posted on 02 April 2011

National Ballet of China

Contemporary dance and classical ballet has long been a popular highlight of the Edinburgh International Festival programme. This year, with an Asian and Eastern cultural umbrella, the promise is of bold colour and visual delight to the eye and exotic music to the ear.

This will be a fabulous and rare opportunity to experience the finest in Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean dance. 

A must see show for dance lovers will be the National Ballet of China in their production of The Peony Pavilion. This is a classic fairy tale love story, often performed as a 20 hour long Opera now adapted into a 2 hour ballet which received 5 star reviews after its premiere.  The company was originally an Experimental ballet troupe, which then began to train its "cradle of dancers" under the influence of Russian masters. We can perhaps then expect to see a spectacular "show", precision of posture, steps and movement, a passionate music score, matched by exotic sets and costumes. Japanese designer Emi Wada is an Oscar winning  costume designer.

Scottish Ballet has rapidly and gloriously developed into an International dance company - seamlessly moving each season from favourite classics to cutting edge dance.  Buy, beg and steal a ticket to see Scottish Ballet this August, performing two contrasting contemporary dance works.

New Work, (world premiere), is by Jorma Elo from Finland, renowned as one of the most sought-after choreographers in the United States and Europe. He is resident choreographer at Boston Ballet. Winner of numerous awards, he was named a Master Artist by Esquire magazine in 2008. New Work has music by Mozart and Steve Reich - which sounds a rich and powerful combination.

Scottish Ballet will also stage "Song of the Earth" by the Scottish-born Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan. Set to Mahler's song cycle the dance is accompanied by RSNO and two opera singers.