News Story

We are excited to share a short film following three local dancers making their professional debut at our 2023 International Festival!

Last year, we issued an open call out for a cohort of 25 diverse and dynamic emerging dancers aged 18-25, who lived in, were born in, or trained in Scotland, to rehearse and perform with the renowned US dance company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

137 dancers from around Scotland were invited to audition in Edinburgh. 25 of these dancers were then handpicked by Ronni Favors, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Rehearsal Director, who travelled from New York to run rehearsals and teach the choreography.

Made by Chocolate Films, A Dancer's Dream, documents the journey of three young dancers Alana Cowie, Gregor Campbell and Kathleen Lawlor,from auditions through to their final performance with the company in Alvin Ailey's classic piece Memoria at the Festival Theatre in August.

Watch the film here:

Gregor Campbell, one of the dancers said about the experience, “Being involved with the International Festival and getting to work with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was a very gratifying experience. The professional credit is amazingly beneficial, it’s a brilliant networking opportunity and getting a chance to bond with your peers from your country is so useful. It’s also quite validating as an artist, because you don't get many experiences that prop you up and make you feel good about yourself and the industry.

If you see an opportunity like this, my advice is: do it. Don't give yourself a chance not to; what’s the worst that could happen? You might be the least qualified walking in, but you won't be by the time you walk out.”

Caroline Donald, Head of Learning and Engagement also said: “The International Festival believes that the arts are for everyone and aims to connect with people of all ages, both locally and internationally.

Projects such as this reaffirm our commitment to making a significant contribution to nurturing emerging talent on and off the stage, by connecting and inspiring a future generation of Scottish and international arts leaders.” 

This project was part of our Learning & Engagement Programme, supported by Baillie Gifford.