Edinburgh International Festival 2010 Dance Programme
The Edinburgh International Festival strikes the tone of this year's cultural feast with a quotation from Columbus: "Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World." The New World theme is reflected in the range of innovative dance companies from overseas, such as MAU, who come from as far afield as New Zealand.
MAU was set up by Lemi Ponifasio, a Samoan High Chief and "one of the most distinctive choreographers in the world today." The ethos of MAU is to explore the problems attached to our planet. The two pieces being performed at the Festival - The Tempest and Birds With Skymirrors - deal in a wonderfully imaginative way with political freedom and the eco fragility of small islands in the Pacific.
Grupo Corpo come from Brazil and their programme - Parabelo (pictured above) and Onqoto - is a fabulous mixture of South American dancing and contemporary dance. A carnival of dance and music.
"This is a group of dancers who have the bumps in all the right places, they are sexy, high octane and energetic," promised Mills.
The choreographer Alonzo King's company - Lines Ballet - hail from San Francisco. Their two pieces - Dust and Light and Rasa - combine an interesting choreographic mixture of American contemporary dance and traditional Indian classical music.
Pina Bausch, who died in 2009, was an iconic figure in contemporary twentieth century dance. Her company Tanztheater ("dance theatre") grew out of German expressionist dance in Weimar Germany and 1920s Vienna. A mixture of dance and drama her Agua programme is bound to be innovative.
The last dance company to perform at this year's Festival is the superb Paco Pena Flamenco Dance company. Their show Quimeras, having its world premiere in Edinburgh, tells the tale of the, at times, troubled journey of immigrants from North Africa to Spain. This is bound to be a flamboyant, entertaining piece of dance, bursting with energy and colour.