Jonathan Trew looks forward to Tradfest

Tradfest celebrates folk music, song, dance and drama. Picture: Jane Barlow

Tradfest celebrates folk music, song, dance and drama. Picture: Jane Barlow

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As a student in the Eighties, a friend would deploy Chris De Burgh’s Lady in Red as a central plank in his hopelessly inept wooing strategy.

Having invited a woman back to his flat, he would put the song on his record player and then duck into the kitchen for a bottle of wine. Inevitably, he would return just in time to hear the front door closing and the footsteps of his would-be conquest echoing up the stairwell. To this day he maintains that the song was responsible for him retaining his virginity for much longer than he had hoped. All parties concerned can relive the magic tomorrow evening when De Burgh plays Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

At the other end of the M8, this is the opening weekend of TradFest, a new 12-day festival which aims to celebrate folk music, song, dance, storytelling and drama. It draws upon the heritage of the Edinburgh People’s Festival and the Edinburgh International Folk Festival, as well as the more recent Ceilidh Culture shindig.

Pick of the pops this weekend is the Flowers of Edinburgh concert taking place at Teviot Row House.

Music and dance with a more international flavour are on the menu tonight as Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta performs at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Born into the grinding poverty of Castro’s Havana, the young Acosta was sent to ballet school as a way of keeping him out of trouble. It worked. Acosta’s career has seen him dance in the world’s most prestigious companies including Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, ABT and England’s Royal Ballet.

Tonight’s piece, called On Before, has choreography by Russell Maliphant, Kim Brandstrup, Edwaard Liang and Miguel Altunaga, while the score includes new commissions from Cuban composer Omar Puente and finishes with the live choral work O Magnum Mysterium by the American composer Morte Lauridsen. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus will provide the lung power.

www.glasgowconcerthalls.com; www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk/tradfest/tradfest.asp; www.edtheatres.com

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