Reviews & features: Edinburgh International Festival

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Thomas Bloch set for glass harmonica concert at 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

21 Aug 2013

Rare instruments specialist teams up with Scotland's Hebrides Ensemble

‘It looks like a horizontal kebab. But instead of meat, you have crystal glass bowls.’ It’s an odd description for a musical instrument, and what Thomas Bloch is describing is admittedly one of the world’s strangest: the glass harmonica. If a…


20 Aug 20132 stars

Narcissistic interpretation of Kafka’s seminal text

The tantalising mixture of traditional Peking style opera, beautiful set design, and multimedia projections by Ethan Wang sounds like a play befitting the International Festivals Art and Technology theme, a special treat for the open-minded enthusiast.

Five choreographers discuss their contribution to Scottish Ballet's Dance Odysseys

16 Aug 2013

The EIF performance features new works from James Cousins, Martin Lawrance and Kristen McNally

James Cousins Which companies did you dance with before moving into choreography? Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, then as a freelance performer with choreographers such as Marc Brew and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. When did you know that you wanted to…

Husband and wife team YMAP give dance a new look Madame Freedom

16 Aug 2013

Hyo Jin Kim and Hyung Su Kim blend live performance with striking visuals

While some dance shows at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival are going for the stripped back and bare approach, YMAP (Your Media Arts Project) is taking its performance to the opposite extreme. Named after the 1957 Korean film of the same…

Mitsuko Uchida - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 13 Aug 2013

14 Aug 20134 stars

The celebrated pianist performs Bach, Schoenberg and Schumann at the EIF

It doesn't get any more temple-of-high-culture than Mitsuko Uchida at the Usher Hall during the EIF, and everything suggested that tonight was going to obey the wacky rituals of the contemporary classical concert. The Usher Hall itself seemed to have…

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Leaving Planet Earth

13 Aug 20132 stars

The future is filled with promise, but its delivery throws up some awkward truths

Grid Iron has previously demonstrated itself as a master of the site-specific play, with 27 awards in 18 years. Working on a massive scale for the Edinburgh International Festival, their latest show Leaving Planet Earth is a dystopian science fiction…

Lin Zhaohua production of Coriolanus set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

13 Aug 2013

Lin Zhaohua arrives in Edinburgh with his take on Shakespeare's tale of heroism rejected

Although he would challenge any notion that he is an avant-garde director, or that his work has any distinctive style, Lin Zhaohua is no stranger to the sort of controversy and enthusiasm that accompanies any theatre-makers who reject the predictable.

Media Skins

11 Aug 2013

Open-air intervention transforms public spaces

As technology makes the global village ever more accessible, so cross-cultural international collaborations proliferate at an ever increasing speed. So it is with Korean artist Hyung Su Kim's large-scale open-air interventions, which take two major…

Meredith Monk: A handy CV break-down of one of America’s most distinctive composers

11 Aug 2013

Composer brings new work On Behalf of Nature to 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

Meredith Monk is renowned for works which combine vocal-led music with elements of theatre, dance and performance art. As she has said, ‘I work in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing, where theatre becomes…

Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds

11 Aug 2013

The artist who brought television to art is celebrated during the Edinburgh International Festival

Like so many radical Asian artists of his generation, the original video freak, composer and cultural terrorist / spiritualist Nam June Paikwas born into wealth in 1932. As Korea was being defiled by Japanese occupation in preparation for the…

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Ten things you might not know about . . . Philip Glass

1 Aug 2013

Learn more about the greatly talented US composer in town for the EIF

Before he performs a Ginsberg tribute with Patti Smith, and scores a black and white film of La Belle et La Bete in the EIF, we remind ourselves of the many reasons why we love US composer Philip Glass. Just don’t call him a minimalist 1. He was a…

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

1 Aug 2013

Extraordinary fusion of art and science at The Queen's Gallery

The fusion of art and medical science is presented in an extraordinary collection of work in Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Thirty sheets of multi-layered anatomical drawings, on loan from the…

Space-age spin on Beethoven’s Fidelio set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

1 Aug 2013

Media artist Gary Hill's version of Fidelio for Opéra de Lyon visits Edinburgh

Beethoven has been sent to outer space. This version of his Fidelio sees singers on Segways, wearing gleaming metallic spacesuits, while intricate 3D animations swirl across the stage. Could this be the future of opera? American media artist Gary Hill…

The best shows at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

16 Jul 2013

20 highlights from the 2013 festival programmes, covering Fringe, Books, International, Art and Jazz

We’ve scanned the thousands of shows, exhibitions and events across the festival in late July, August and early September, and highlight the ones that simply cannot be missed

5 premieres at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

New work from Meredith Monk, Peter Gregson and Teatrocinema

Madame Freedom From YMAP comes this merger of dance, film and digital technology. Histoire d’amour. A chilling multimedia tale from Teatrocinema about obsession and alienation.

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Dance highlights from Scottish Ballet at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Five highlights from Scottish Ballet’s curated programme Dance Odysseys

Kelly Apter picks five other highlights of Scottish Ballet’s curated programme. The Rite of Spring. Scottish Ballet’s artistic director Christopher Hampson curated the Dance Odysseys programme, so it’s only right that his own work should get a moment in…

Five talks at the 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Brian Eno, Philip Glass and Patti Smith among those delivering talks at EIF

Philip Glass & Patti Smith These two US creative legends discuss another, Allen Ginsberg. Nam June Paik Resounds A gathering of curators muse upon the legacy of this counter-culture tech-artist.

Frank Zappa tribute set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Paul Morley wades through the history of a true sonic visionary and wonders just where he fits in

And then, finally, Z for Zappa. I sometimes think that Frank Zappa only existed in all his hyper Zappa-ness as musician, cultural critic, technician, self-publicist, libertarian social commentator, arranger, satirist, stunt guitarist whose solos were…

Grid Iron perform Leaving Planet Earth at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

15 Jul 2013

Scottish theatre company's new show 'merges Battlestar Galactica and George Monbiot'

‘It was the merging of Battlestar Galactica and George Monbiot,’ laughs director Catrin Evans about the inspiration behind Leaving Planet Earth. In 2010, Evans’ mother sent her a clipping of an article about consumerism by The Guardian’s environmental…

Interview: American soprano Angel Blue set for 2013 Edinburgh Festival with American Lulu

15 Jul 2013

Young opera singer in production of unfinished opera relocated to jazz bars of Deep South

When American soprano Angel Blue isn’t performing or rehearsing operas, there are two places she would rather be. First is in her Toyota Avalon, cruising about her hometown of Los Angeles. ‘I miss my car so much when I’m here working in the UK,’ she…

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Interview: Édouard Lock world premiere set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

The influential choreographer who is aiming to build some bridges

There’s nothing like having the words ‘David Bowie’ and ‘Frank Zappa’ on your CV to add kudos to your career. Not that Édouard Lock needs it. His credentials as a choreographer and artistic director are pretty cast iron as it is. Since he founded La La…

Interview: James Cousins at 2013 Edinburgh Festival with his own company and Scottish Ballet

15 Jul 2013

New work from upcoming dancer and choreographer at International Festival and Fringe

When the most successful British dance maker in history gives you the nod of approval, you must be doing something right. Launched by Matthew Bourne and his company in 2011, the New Adventures Choreographer Award was set up to support emerging talent in…

Taiwan Contemporary Legend Theatre stage Metamorphosis at 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

15 Jul 2013

Actor Wu Hsing-kuo tackles Kafka's text in technology-heavy production

Wu Hsing-kuo knows all about transformation. In the Edinburgh International Festival of 2011, he morphed himself into all the key characters of King Lear. In his idiosyncratic one-man interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, Wu tackled each part in turn…

The Wooster Group rework Richard Burton's Hamlet at 2013 Edinburgh Festival

15 Jul 2013

Video screenings of New York’s theatre crew's shows including Rumstick Road and To You, The Birdie!

New York’s experimental theatre crew The Wooster Group embark on yet another challenging proposition, as they rework Hamlet for the 21st century. Nothing new in that, you might think, except they’re using footage of the legendary 1964 Broadway…

The International acts appearing at the 2013 Edinburgh Festivals

9 Jul 2013

Just 36 of the countries represented by acts appearing at the world's biggest arts festival

1 Argentina. Rodrigo Abd is a World Press Photo prizewinner (Politics). 2 Australia. David Quirk is a deadpan leftfield comic (Fringe)