Edinburgh International Festival launch: A wonderfully diverse dance programme

Dance at its finest will always convey something about the human experience, allowing us to interpret it in our own way. The dance artists at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival fall squarely into that category, in a wonderfully diverse way.

Known for his work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Ballet and others, Kyle Abraham is bringing his feel-good testament to black love. Set to the R&B music of D’Angelo, An Untitled Love captures themes of family and community, delivered by a choreographer whose influences run deep and wide.

The beautiful and touching work of Edinburgh-based Palestinian choreographer Farah Saleh is getting the platform it deserves when A Wee Journey joins two other dance pieces in the EIF’s excellent Refuge season. Again, taking us into the heart of a cultural experience but with universal connections.

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Jungle Book Reimagined should also bring the world closer, with Akram Khan’s take on Kipling’s story shifting the focus to climate change. Mowgli is now a female climate refugee, propelled by Khan’s blend of Indian Kathak and contemporary dance. It will also be interesting to see how UK/Indian dancer Aakash Odedra and Chinese dancer Hu Shenyuan bounce off each other’s traditions and styles in Samsara.

Macro will open the festival at Murrayfield PIC: Darcy Grant

Scottish Ballet’s Coppélia may seem like a standard traditional offering, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Talented dance film makers, Jess and Morgs gifted us Tremble and The Secret Theatre, and this new hybrid of live performance and film looks set to be just as ground-breaking and entertaining.

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