Ballet with a twist at Edinburgh International Festival

Ballet with a twist at Edinburgh International Festival

2015 Festival lineup gives ballet fans much to look forward to

Anyone who puts dancers in heavy black boots and pretty pink pointe shoes in the same piece has got something interesting to say about modern ballet. And critical and audience opinion about Martin Schläpfer, Ballett am Rhein’s artistic director, would suggest that’s the case. His large-scale work set to Mahler’s Symphony No 7 has that epic feel you want from a major Festival performance, and isn’t the only dance show in Fergus Linehan’s first programme that gives ballet a good name.

Christian Spuck was last seen at the Festival with his dramatic Return of Ulysses, performed by the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2009. Now artistic director of Ballett Zürich, his return is good news indeed, with the Shakespeare-inspired Sonnett looking equally exciting.

Despite swapping ballet for contemporary, Sylvie Guillem is still the most exciting ballerina of the past 30 years, so her swansong tour is a real jewel in the Festival crown. Especially when her choice of choreographer – Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Mats Ek – reads like a who’s who of 21st-century greats.

Edinburgh International Festival, Fri 7—Mon 31 Aug

Ballett am Rhein's 7


  • 5 stars

Germany’s Ballett am Rhein joins the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for Martin Schläpfer’s epic response to Mahler’s enigmatic 7th Symphony. In this full-length ballet, the anguish and poignant beauty of Mahler’s Symphony seem to be written into the bodies of the dancers. Music and movement merge into a whirlpool of…

Ballett Zürich

  • 4 stars

Ballett Zürich, one of Europe’s leading ensembles, presents a captivating double bill featuring works by their artistic director Christian Spuck and multi-award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor. McGregor’s new work Kairos is a seamless marriage of design and structure set to Max Richter’s celebrated…

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress

  • 5 stars

Hailed as one of the greatest dancers of her generation, Sylvie Guillem embarks on her final world tour, in a programme that features new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant and existing creations by Mats Ek and William Forsythe. Guillem began training at the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1977, and in 1981 joined the…

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