25/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 02:38

Edinburgh International Festival begins at Speed of Light

Category: Scotland

Published: 9th Aug 2012 00:04:45

An open-air light show involving hundreds of runners in special LED suits is the opening event of the Edinburgh International Festival.

The 66th festival kicks off with Speed of Light, which sees volunteers running around Arthur's Seat, the landmark hill close to the city centre, in the dark.

The festival's opening concert at the Usher Hall will take place on Friday.

Its three-week run will also include major shows at the Royal Highland Centre at Ingliston.

The massive "warehouse" Lowland Hall space, which is normally used for agricultural events, will stage three productions which were deemed too big for the conventional theatres used by the festival.

The centre, about eight miles from the city centre, near Edinburgh airport, will be transformed to stage a powerful new Polish production of Macbeth set in the Middle East.

It will also house a "subversive" take on My Fair Lady by Swiss director Christoph Marthaler and a four-hour epic based on a Jules Verne short story by French director Ariane Mnouchkine and her Theatre du Soleil.

The festival, which runs from 9 August to 2 September, will include performances of dance, opera, music and theatre.

The programme will involve performances by almost 3,000 artists from 47 nations.

A new production of Gulliver's Travels produced in collaboration with Irish musician and composer Shaun Davey will get its premiere and violinist Nicola Benedetti will join the London Symphony Orchestra at the Usher Hall as they perform the complete Szymanowski and Brahms symphonies.

Other highlights include morning music sessions at the Queen's Hall, as well as four performances of Prokofiev's Cinderella by the Mariinsky Ballet and orchestra.

Elsewhere there is a new staging of Electra by the Japanese theatre director Tadashi Suzuki - his first visit to the UK in three decades.

NVA's Speed of Light, which begins on Thursday night, is one of the most anticipated shows in Edinburgh.

Hundreds of runners in light suits will form shapes and streams of light in the peaks and valleys of Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags, as they follow choreographed routines in the dark.

An audience of walkers with specially-designed light sticks will climb the steep western edge of the hill accompanied by a specially-designed soundtrack.

The event is part of the London 2012 Festival which is the artistic element of the Olympics.

Organisers said "the individual is unspectacular - watching one person run is not interesting but the collective is breathtaking".

Festival director Jonathan Mills said: "There is great excitement about Speed of Light, our community participation project near Arthur's Seat.

"It brings sport and science and art and environmental sculpture all together in one big celebration of community.

"There are Olympian elements to the Edinburgh Festival every year but I think, especially, we are scaling the heights in 2012."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Edinburgh International Festival begins at Speed of Light [Online] (Updated 9th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1445252/Edinburgh-International-Festival-begins-at-Speed-of-Light [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Two-thirds of MPs are 'local' people, study suggests

    Almost two-thirds of the UK's members of Parliament are "local" to the area they represent, research by a political think tank suggests.
  • Tech giants settle no-poaching lawsuit

    Four of the biggest technology firms - Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe - have settled a class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to hold down salaries.
  • Health atlas allows online search of risk by area

    A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Johann Lamont: From the heat of the classroom to the heart of Scottish politics

    This year is an important one for the Lamont household.
  • Bernie Ecclestone: Q&A on Formula 1 supremo's bribery trial

    Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance in a Munich court on Thursday, accused of giving a £27.5m ($45m, 33m euros) bribe to a German banker.