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What are the artists taking part in this year’s International Festival looking forward to the most? In the lead up to opening night, we've invited a number of performers to tell us what’s on their must-see list.

Here are Christine Devaney's Festival highlights:

1. A Toast to the People

I could happily go along to any of the Toast to the People events! I don’t know all of the artists, but I love the sound of this format. I’ve booked tickets for Hollie McNish & Wana Udobang – two amazing female poets, sharing their inspiring words and work with us and each other. I feel they will take care of me as they question and comment on the world with integrity and honest humour, leaving me full.

2. Shona the Musical Choir

I’m longing to hear voices singing together live – I want to hear this choir! I just watched the recording of Vuka Zimbabwe (Arise Zimbabwe); beautiful, strong, up lifting and also makes me want to dance.

The women of Shona the Musical Choir pose, wearing African wax print clothing

Shona the Musical Choir

Each film in the series sounds so different. And although they’ve been made during and in response to a hugely challenging time for dance artists, I’m sure they’ll beautifully demonstrate the inventiveness and resilience of dancers and choreographers, as well as the strength and joy of dance through a different medium. I really want to see Janice Parker’s film since we both ventured out into the city of Edinburgh to create new work.   

4. Niqabi Ninja

I’m drawn to this because of the combination of art forms that have been brought together to tell its dark but important story. I can’t quite imagine what the experience will be, which, to me, feels like a great way to meet a performance. I also admire how the form of the work I’ll be experiencing – a female walking in public – is also the subject of the work.

A woman wearing headphones stands facing the camera, in front of brick wall featuring a painting of a woman wearing a niqab.
© Mihaela Bodlovic

0 Stars

The song’s opening bars instantly move me to open heart joy.

Christine Devaney on Green Garden by Laura Mvula

5. Laura Mvula

I remember the first time I saw Laura Mvula perform her songs Green Garden and Sing To The Moon on the Jools Holland show in 2013 and just loving her voice; the feel of her music and her band – well, everything about her really! I played Green Garden over and over back then and played it again last spring when we started to emerge from lockdown. The song’s opening bars instantly move me to open heart joy. Unfortunately, seeing her perform will remain a fantasy for now, as she is performing on the same evening as us.

Christine Devaney is the founder and Artistic Director of Edinburgh-based dance theatre company Curious Seed. They present Field – Something for the Future Now, a durational outdoor dance-happening taking place in Holyrood Park, as part of this year’s Festival.

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