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International celebration of dance


Why not give dance a go this August? To help you find shows you may like, we’ve lined up some video teasers and photos below.

Autobiography | Photo: Richard Davies
XENOS | Photo: Jean-Louis Fernandez

In the dance programme at the 2018 International Festival, you’re invited to explore a complex universe of love, confront the tragedies of the First World War, reflect on the human body as an autobiographical archive, and be amazed by the miniature adventures of dancing hands… 

Let’s take a closer look at each of the dance shows coming to Edinburgh in August below, or if you're in a rush you can just watch this one minute summary video of this year's dance programme:


This deeply personal show for ten dancers created by Wayne McGregor draws on the choreographer’s collaboration with scientists from the Wellcome Trust. The mass data from McGregor’s own genome is sampled to determine the order of Autobiography’s sequences, making each performance truly unique for dancers and audience alike.

Love Cycle 

Is there anything more unexplainable than love? Asking that question are two complementary but standalone shows from L-E-V Dance Company: OCD Love and Love Chapter 2. Choreographer Sharon Eyal and multimedia designer Gai Behar present a visceral expression of emotion and obsession, fuelled by pulsating techno beats of DJ Ori Lichtik.

Love Cycle

Love Chapter 2


Don’t miss a chance to see one of the final performances of Akram Khan in a full-length solo production. Over the years, he has become known for his epic storytelling works, shifting between classical Indian kathak and contemporary dance techniques, as well as a range of exciting collaborations with artists such as Juliette Binoche, Sylvie Guillem, or Kylie Minogue. In XENOS, Akram Khan explores the beauty and the horror of the human condition through the eyes of an Indian soldier in the trenches during the First World War.

Cold Blood

Think an old Hollywood tap routine or zero-gravity acrobatics at a space station, all performed by a cast of dancing hands… Yes, Cold Blood is like nothing you’ve seen before! A live cinema-dance show is created in front of your eyes, using a miniature set design and tiny props to tell the greatest adventures. You may never look at your hands in the same way again! 

Kadamati | Photo: Kios Miah


This free outdoor performance brings together hundreds of local dancers choreographed by Akram Khan to mark the end of the First World War on its centenary year. Witness the grant gesture of unity outside the Palace of Holyrood on Wednesday 22 August at 6.15pm.

Other news


National Theatre of Scotland join the 2019 programme with work by Jackie Kay

Red Dust Road, an adaptation of poet Jackie Kay’s memoir, will be premiered at the 2019 International Festival.


Sir Ian McKellen returns to the International Festival

Sir Ian McKellen will return to the International Festival with a new production that celebrates his 80th birthday. Tickets on sale from March 2019.


Francesca Hegyi OBE appointed as Executive Director of Edinburgh International Festival

Having previously studied and worked in Edinburgh, Francesca returns to the city to join the International Festival in February 2019.


Get to know Aidan Oliver, Chorus Director of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus

Aidan Oliver answers some quickfire questions as he prepares to lead the Edinburgh Festival Chorus