Over 300 young dancers from across Scotland gathered on Wednesday 22 August on the forecourt of the Palace of Holyroodhouse to perform in Akram Khan Company's Kadamati at the International Festival. A mass participatory, free, outdoor dance performance, Kadamati brought the young dancers together in a grand gesture of unity, watched by an audience of over 2000 people.
Choreographed by leading UK choreographer Akram Khan, Kadamati draws on themes of identity, migration, connection and hope, and marks the centenary of the end of the First World War. Watch the video of the full performance below:
Produced in partnership with 14–18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, Kadamati was presented by the International Festival as a companion piece to Akram Khan Company's main-stage show XENOS, which played to sold out houses at Edinburgh's Festival Theatre last week.
Kadamati was originally conceived and developed by Akram Khan and his team for Big Dance 2016 and performed in London's Trafalgar Square. Akram Khan Company have since worked with dance artists across Scotland to teach the piece to local groups of dancers for this International Festival presentation.
Nine of Scotland's leading dance artists taught 17 groups of dancers from towns including Edinburgh, Hamilton, Glasgow, Dunfermline and Cumbernauld. They have rehearsed throughout the summer in their individual locations, before coming together on Sunday 19 August for their first mass rehearsal ahead of today's full performance.
The event is part of the programme for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, which also opened on Wednesday. Culture Ministers and delegations from over 40 nations left the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood to join the Kadamati audience alongside Akram Khan, who is a guest speaker at the Summit on Thursday 23 August.
Choreographer Akram Khan said: 'Having mass bodies performing in a ritualistic way reflects the beautiful part of where we have evolved today. I am thrilled to see so many young dancers from right across Scotland come together in this celebration of unity and diversity at the heart of the International Festival and on the special occasion of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit'.