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Five reasons to see Rain at the International Festival

Although we get plenty of rain here in Scotland year-round, we cannot recommend enough catching some this August. It’s Rain like no other, and here are five reasons why you don’t want to miss this contemporary dance masterpiece.

1. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker

Seminal Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is best known for her minimalist take on contemporary dance and a rigorous exploration of the relationship between dance and music. In her work, she often focuses on the exploration of patterns and naturalistic gestures, but throughout her career she has worked with various themes and experimented with different mediums and textual layers.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is hugely popular with audiences, and equally adored by critics and academics. She is both a dance pioneer and an entertainer, a major world figure whose shows can make you think and feel at the same time.

If you’d like to know more about the choreographer, there is great step-by-step guide to her work on The Guardian.

2. Steve Reich

American composer Steve Reich has inspired Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker throughout her choreographic career. With her second work Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich, she made an explosive impact on the international dance scene in 1982. When the composer saw the piece for the first time a few years later his “jaw dropped”.

At the 2008 International Festival you might have seen Rosas performing in Steve Reich Evening which brought together seven pieces made by De Keersmaeker over 25 years to the music of her favourite composer.

Rain is set to one of Reich’s iconic minimalist masterpieces Music for 18 Musicians. It consists of 11 distinct sections exploring a single chord with each of them taking it further. Pulsing marimbas, vibraphones, xylophones and other instruments take you on a hypnotic journey. You can listen to some of the sections of the composition below on our playlist featuring music from this year’s contemporary dance performances at the International Festival (start from track #4 for Steve Reich).

3. Dries Van Noten

The costume designer for Rain is a hot name in the fashion industry. Among many accolades, Dries Van Noten was honoured by the Council of Fashion Designers of America with the International Designer of the Year Award in 2008.

In addition to running his fashion brand, the designer also collaborates with various contemporary dance companies including Rosas and the New York City Ballet, but you may also have seen his designs on the Academy Awards red carpet as he dresses actresses such as Cate Blanchet and Maggie Gyllenhaal, as well as the Queen Mathilde of Belgium for state visits.

Costumes used in Rain are designed by Dries Van Noten

4. Iconic dance piece

Rain, first performed in 2001, remains one of the iconic and definitive works of Rosas as a dance company, with its compelling group choreographies, complex geometric structures and the minimalist music. It is a graceful, overwhelmingly beautiful and powerfully emotional dance creation that is an unbridled expression of joy in all its physical immediacy. Take a look at the trailer below to see for yourself.

5. Rain or shine, choose... Rain

You know what typical Scottish weather can be like, even in August we’re not guaranteed glorious sunshine (fingers crossed though). If the skies don’t behave, escape the outdoor showers and witness Rain inside. And if the summer’s kind and it’s lovely outside, trust us, it has nothing on the sheer beauty of Rain. So it’s a rain-rain situation, really. See you in the auditorium!


See Rain at 8.00pm on 25-27 August at the Edinburgh Playhouse as part of the 2017 International Festival. Book your tickets now.


Photo credits (from the top):
Rain © Anne Van Aerschot
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker © Hugo Glendinning
Rain © Anne Van Aerschot

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