Best dance shows to see in Scotland 2016

Dance shows in 2016

Isaac Lee Baker and Dreda Blow in Jonathan Watkins 1984 / credit: Emma Kauldhar

From homegrown talent to international companies, there’s a whole lot of great dance heading to Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2016

The List Dance Editor Kelly Apter runs down all the shows to get excited about this coming year in Scotland.

DanceFest – Seventeen youth companies from across the Central Belt gather together to present a dynamic evening of ballet, contemporary and Indian dance. Featuring students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Modern Ballet course, Barrowland Ballet Youth Company, dancers from Scottish Ballet’s Associate programme and many more.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 19 Jan.

Scottish Dance Theatre: Dreamers & Process Day – SDT go back on the road with a double bill featuring the fast-paced and fabulous Dreamers by Anton Lachky, proving just how funny contemporary dance can be. Plus Process Day, a brand new work from former Batsheva collaborators Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar.
Dundee Rep Theatre, Fri 12–Sat 13 Feb, then touring.

Go Dance 16 – Taking place over five nights, this annual showcase of community dance is always a real treat. With work created and performed by dance schools and colleges, community groups and emerging artists, each night offers a different line-up.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 1–Sat 5 Mar.

Phoenix Dance – Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, the Leeds-based company presents an exciting triple-bill of new works by three choreographers. Kate Flatt’s Undivided Loves is inspired by Shakespeare, Itzik Galili’s Until.With/Out.Enough delves inside our minds, and Caroline Finn gets playful in Bloom.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Sat 5 Mar.

Northern Ballet: 1984 – George Orwell’s fascinating 1940s novel is brought to the stage by choreographer Jonathan Watkins. A former dancer and choreographer with the Royal Ballet, Watkins astutely taps in to Orwell’s nightmarish vision of enforced uniformity, and the precious romance between Winston and Julia that struggles to exist within it.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Thu 31 Mar–Sat 2 Apr.

The Last Tango – Strictly stars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace say farewell to the stage with this follow-up to the wonderful Midnight Tango and Dance ‘Til Dawn. As the name suggests, this show focuses on their speciality, the Argentine Tango.
Edinburgh Playhouse, Thu 7–Sat 9 Apr.

Scottish Ballet: Swan Lake – Multiple award winning choreographer David Dawson takes the most famous ballet of all time, and turns it into something new. A dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Dutch National Ballet before switching to choreography, Dawson is in demand around the world, and much excitement surrounds this brand new production, which retains Tchaikovsky’s emotive score.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 19–Sat 23 Apr, then touring to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Nederlands Dans Theater 2 – The only Scottish date on the company’s UK tour, so lap them up while you can. Arguably one of the finest modern dance companies in the world, NDT2 provides an unmissable blend of young talent and innovative choreography. Programme to be announced.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 22–Sat 23 Apr.

Nijinsky’s Last Jump – Company Chordelia’s critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show goes on tour. A fascinating, poignant and thought-provoking look at the life of dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky, focussing on his fame, talent and constant battle with mental illness. (Read our Fringe review.)
Touring Scotland from 23 Apr–end May.

Balletboyz: Life – Since founding their company in 2001, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt have proved to have a good eye for both choreographers and dancers. This latest tour, Life, features new works by Swedish dance and filmmaker Pontus Lidberg, and Venezuelan-born choreographer Javier de Frutos, performed by ten male dancers.
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Sun 22 May; Dundee Rep Theatre, Mon 23–Tue 24 May.

Richard Alston Dance Company – The contemporary dance company returns to Edinburgh with a brand new world premiere from Martin Lawrance – plus his existing work, Stronghold. Alston himself provides An Italian in Madrid, inspired by the composer Scarlatti, and Mazur set to Chopin.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 23 Sep.

Scottish Ballet: Autumn Season – A double-bill from Scottish Ballet, featuring the European premiere of Emergence by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, and a brand new work by Scottish Ballet dancer and emerging choreographer Sophie Laplane.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, then touring to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness (dates in Sep and Oct tbc).

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre – Looking for a dance show to take a sceptical, non-dance loving family member or friend to? Then look no further, because not liking this New York-based company is very, very hard to do. Expect new works followed by the traditional Alvin Ailey closer, Revelations.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 18–Wed 19 Oct.