Reviews & features: Edinburgh International Festival

309 reviews

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Star Appeal: A look at reviewing trends at Edinburgh Festivals 2012

26 Sep 2012

Full raw data sets of aggregated reviews from 2012 Edinburgh Festival shows now available

The Fringe may be a distant memory but here at The List we’ve been doing some post-festival number crunching. For the last four years we’ve compiled an aggregate of reviews from all the major publications reviewing at the Festival. The result is our…

Batsheva Dance Company - Hora

3 Sep 20123 stars

Gaga dancers showcase their inventive style

For many years Israeli-born choreographer Ohad Naharin has been developing his own language of abstract dance with the suitably eccentric name 'Gaga'. In Hora a grass green box provides the backdrop for his cast of 11 to exercise their Gaga flexibility…

Wonderland

30 Aug 20122 stars

Vanishing Point investigation into dark erotic fantasies and internet porn is a huge disappointment

Vanishing Point's latest production finds the Glasgow-based theatre company in combative form, delving into internet pornography's seedy demi-monde and confronting audiences with their own desire for erotic titillation. Despite some stylish moments…

Juilliard Dance

28 Aug 20124 stars

Triple bill from the 'holy grail of dance schools'

Although student showcases abound on the Fringe, not many make it to the International Festival. But then this is Juilliard, one of the world's most highly regarded dance schools. The expectations for this triple bill are therefore justifiably high, and…

David et Jonathas, Festival Theatre, Mon 20 Aug

28 Aug 20124 stars

Psychological complexities of OT story brought to the fore in Andreas Homoki's musical feast of a pr

Musically, Les Arts Florissants’ David et Jonathas is a feast. French Baroque opera at its finest, Charpentier’s moving retelling of the biblical tragedy about two men who love each other - however that might be interpreted – is rooted in the most…

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Les Naufragés du Fol Espoir (Aurores)

24 Aug 20125 stars

Théâtre du Soleil's debut production at the Edinburgh International Festival is a coup de théâtre

The first ever Edinburgh International Festival production by the great French company Théâtre du Soleil promised to be an unforgettable event. And so it proves. The brainchild of Théâtre du Soleil’s founder and director Ariane Mnouchkine, Les…

Encounters series offers insight into themes running through the Edinburgh International Festival 2012

23 Aug 2012

2 for 1 deals on Encounters talks during the last week of 2012 EIF

The Fringe/Book/International Festivals are coming to their various ends, but there's no need to dissolve into a flood of fest regrets: there are still gems to be found, and we can help you locate them. Encounters is a series of lectures and talks…

Zoe Strachan on The Lady from the Sea - interview

22 Aug 2012

The playwright is collaborating with Craig Armstrong on the production for Scottish Opera

Five years ago, Scottish Opera embarked on a brave new venture called Five:15. The plan was to put together contemporary Scottish writers and composers and commission them to come up with five new 15 minute long operas. Altogether, 15 short operas were…

Leigh Warren + Dancers - Breathe/Impulse

22 Aug 2012

The choreographer bringing his 'group of individuals' to Edinburgh International Festival

In some dance companies you have soloists and principals, in others everybody is on the same level. But rarely are company members described as ‘a group of individual dance artists’, as they are on the Leigh Warren website. When he started his company…

Ballet Preljocaj: And then, one thousand years of peace

19 Aug 20124 stars

Radical re-imagining of the Book of Revelation

'Revolution and revelation' are two of the themes Angelin Preljocaj cites in his radical re-working of St John's Apocalypse, a piece that beguiles both with the changing textures of its movement and the surreal beauty of its images, set to a scorching…

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Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company - Uncharted Seas/Timeless

19 Aug 20124 stars

Kathak dance travels from tradition to timelessness

A journey through time and space, Aditi Mangaldas' double-bill travels through the traditions of Kathak north Indian dance -- with its origins in storytelling -- to emerge spinning into the 21st century, in two pieces that connect the early temple…

Gulliver's Travels

19 Aug 20124 stars

Savage and funny adaptation of Swift’s satire

The Victorians considered Gulliver's Travels a kid's book, chortling at the notion of a big man in a tiny world and quietly omitting Gulliver's horrified realisation that the bestial Yahoos are in fact human. That uncomfortable final part of the book is…

Batsheva Dance Company: Hora

19 Aug 2012

Learning the new language of dance

For most of us, the word ‘gaga’ means one of two things: an anthemic, hands-in-the-air Queen song, or a peroxide blonde dressed in meat. At Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, however, it has a whole other meaning. The brainchild of Israeli artistic…

Russia's Mariinsky Ballet bring Cinderella to Edinburgh International Festival

19 Aug 2012

Five reasons why you shouldn't miss it

The company You might know them as the Kirov, but back home they’re called the Mariinsky Ballet, and this St Petersburg-based troupe is widely recognised as being one of the finest classical ballet companies in the world. The choreographer A former…

Juilliard School bring upcoming dance stars to Edinburgh International Festival

17 Aug 2012

High profile American dance institution set for Playhouse performance

Each August scores of budding artists, many still studying their craft, flock to Edinburgh to test their performance mettle in what even die-hard professionals might regard as a dauntingly competitive market. It’s these same young people – a few of…

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2008: Macbeth

14 Aug 20124 stars

Theatre of war re-imagined for the 21st century

The first we hear of Major Macbeth, he’s radio-ing in from his Scotland-52 helicopter saying he’s going to undertake a dangerous raid on Arab insurgents in an unnamed Middle Eastern country in defiance of his commander. The attack is successful, so we…

Waiting for Orestes: Electra

12 Aug 20124 stars

Visually and aurally striking adaptation of Euripides’ Electra from Tadashi Suzuki

Five men, stripped to the waist and sitting in wheelchairs, circle the stage. Moving as one, they appear like a cross between an Ancient Greek chorus and the pitiful co-dependents of a Samuel Beckett play. For the first 18 minutes of the play, they say…

Sergio Diaz of Ballet Preljocaj discusses the company's performances at EIF

12 Aug 2012

The Edinburgh International Festival is hosting three pieces from the acclaimed French company

It’s lunchtime at Ballet Preljocaj’s headquarters in Aix en Provence, and dancer Sergio Diaz is taking a well-earned break. A few moments earlier, he and the rest of the company were rehearsing And then, one thousand years of peace, an extraordinary new…

Aditi Mangaldas reinventing Kathak dance at Edinburgh International Festival

12 Aug 2012

‘It’s interesting and challenging for me to explore the unknown,’ says Aditi Mangaldas, on the phone from her company’s base in New Delhi. Which is exactly what the Indian choreographer has been doing for the past 21 years, since the formation of the…

Gagaku, the ancient music of Japan, comes to the Edinburgh International Festival

11 Aug 2012

One-off performance to showcase the world's oldest orchestra tradition

If you think Western classical music is ancient – and let’s face it, even Bach dates back over 300 years – it’s a mere youngster compared with gagaku. The music of the Japanese imperial court, which gets a very rare British outing as part of the…

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Behind the scenes at NVA's Speed of Light

10 Aug 2012

Account of walking participation in Edinburgh International Festival event

It’s been described as looking like the movie Tron, a human work of art and a sci-fi sports endeavour, against the most famous silhouette Edinburgh has to offer. Rhona Taylor takes to the hills, and investigates what NVA’s much-talked-about Speed of…

Edinburgh Festival pre-sales increase in 2012 despite Olympic fever

10 Aug 2012

Olympic TV viewing figures thought to have little effect on final ticket sales figure

With the 2012 London Olympics drawing sky-high television ratings – 10.7 million viewers tuned in to watch Andy Murray win gold in the Olympic tennis final last Sunday afternoon while a further 10.1 million watched Chris Hoy take his second gold on…

Five electronica composers at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival

6 Aug 2012

Terry Riley, Laurent Garnier, Craig Armstrong, Abel Korzeniowski, Isao Tomito and Ryoji Ikeda

So the Edinburgh International Festival can be regarded by some as... how does one put this delicately... highbrow? Scholarly? Of course that’s not the Festival’s fault. That’s the fault of us lowly plebeians who refuse to dive into the deep immersive…

Dance icon Deborah Colker brings Tatyana to 2012 Edinburgh International Festival

6 Aug 2012

Brazilian choreographer brings show based on Pushkin's Eugene Onegin to Edinburgh

When you approach the latest dance production by trailblazing, Olivier Award-winning Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker, please jettison clichés of samba, sun and surf. The small, blonde dynamo, 52 this year, is hugely popular in her native country…

TR Warszawa's 2008: Macbeth relocates the Scottish Play to Iraq

4 Aug 2012

Artistic director Grzegorz Jarzyna brings the production to Edinburgh International Festival 2012

Grzegorz Jarzyna is something of a wunderkind in Polish theatre. Since being appointed artistic director at TR Warszawa – the acclaimed theatre company based in Poland’s capital city – in 1998, aged just 30, he’s become known for his genre-pushing…