Scottish culture gets a make-over this Hogmanay as Off Kilter - a fabulous dance and music extravaganza - explodes onto the Festival Theatre stage.
Combining traditional Highland, ballet, hip-hop, Indian classical and contemporary dance, this feisty new production is a spectacular showcase of styles that are alive and kicking in Scotland today.
Dance Base, Scotland’s national centre for dance, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay organisers Unique Events and the Festival Theatre Edinburgh have come together to create this major new production, which will be appear at the Festival Theatre from Tuesday 29 December to Saturday 2 January. Supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and Scottish Arts Council, the production will then embark on a Scottish tour from January 2010 with sights firmly set on visits to North America and Australia later in the year.
Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Unique Events are delighted that the Expo fund has enabled us to stage this ambitious and exciting new production which fits so well with the celebratory aspect of our festival. For local people and visitors to Scotland alike, Off Kilter will be a brilliant night out.”
Building on the success of the critically acclaimed 2004 production of the same name, this spectacular new show will feature live musicians, high profile choreographers and leading Scottish dancers, with an enhanced programme of specially commissioned work brought together under the inspired artistic direction of Dance Base’s Morag Deyes.
Morag Deyes, Artistic Director of Dance Base, said: “Off Kilter is a riotous assembly of the great talent inspired by, and living in Scotland. This great show reflects the energy and originality in music and dance which is experiencing a genuine renaissance right now.”
Guest choreographers including world-renowned dance doyen Mark Morris and Scottish Ballet artistic director Ashley Page, will premiere new works created specifically for this production alongside commissioned works from traditional dance expert Frank McConnell and Scottish Dance Theatre artistic director Janet Smith, with music from Martyn Bennett to Calvin Harris.
John Stalker, Chief Executive of Festival City Theatres Trust, said: “For the thousands of visitors who flock to Edinburgh each year this will provide a spectacular taste of Scotland. Off Kilter is an explosion of fun for all the family and the hot ticket this Hogmanay.”
Audience members will also have a chance to “Get Tae Dance” this Hogmanay. At the end of each performance 200 participants will be invited onstage to join the live musicians and dancers in a spectacular ceilidh. What better way to see in the New Year and celebrate our nation’s rich culture!
Notes for Editors:
•The Scottish Government has provided £343,863 from its Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to create and premiere for the first time its own show – Off Kilter – which will promote Scottish dance and music, both contemporary and traditional, to an international audience at home and abroad. The Expo Fund is available to all 12 Festivals in Edinburgh to support the development of Scottish-based work. The planned expenditure for the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund is £6 million over three years.
Culture Minister Michael Russell said: “Dance is an intrinsic part of Scotland’s cultural identity. Off Kilter combines traditional Highland, ballet, hip hop, Indian classical and contemporary dance – creating a spectacular showcase of styles that are alive and kicking in Scotland today. It is truly a celebration of modern Scotland which promotes our nation’s unique culture and sensational talent on the international stage.
“‘Let’s Get Scotland Dancing’ – part of the cultural strand from our ambitious Commonwealth Games legacy plan will, I hope, encourage and inspire just about everyone in Scotland to get active through dance. Off Kilter is an excellent example of all that dance can offer and links nicely with those aspirations, that is why I’m delighted to be supporting it through our Expo Fund.”
•Off Kilter will tour to Glasgow Theatre Royal, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, Horsecross Theatre, Perth and Eden Court Theatre, Inverness from January 4 2010 and will also be included in the prestigious British Dance Edition in Birmingham in February when it will be seen by promoters from all over the world.
•Dance Base, Scotland’s National Centre for Dance, encourages and celebrates the potential for dance in everyone. Providing classes and workshops for the community, masterclasses and residencies for professional dancers and an extensive programme of outreach work, Dance Base reaches out to inspire well-being and creativity, and cultivates a future for dance in our local, national and international communities.
Throughout the year our purpose built £7m dance facility in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town is filled with 130+ dance classes every week. More than 2000 people participate in classes at Dance Base every week. Our Professional programme exists to support and nurture professional dancers and their work at all levels through classes, workshops and a programme of residencies.
Dance Base gratefully acknowledges support from City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund.
•Festival City Theatres Trust, which manages the Festival and King’s Theatres in Edinburgh, is the largest independent theatre organisation in Scotland. FCTT seeks to develop productions in association with like-minded producers to further enrich the programme for its two theatres and is delighted to be co-producing Off Kilter.
•Founded in the early 1990s and based in Edinburgh, Unique Events is Scotland’s leading events and festivals creation company. Unique has created and produced a huge range of events throughout Scotland, from sports gatherings to street parties, classical music to rock and pop festivals; an unparalleled range of indoor and outdoor ticketed and free events.
Unique specialises in large-scale public events and festivals workding closely with government agencies, local authoritieis and enterprise companies as well as the private sector.
LISTINGS  Festival Theatre, Edinburgh  Tue 29 December – Saturday 2 January  Tue, Wed & Sat 7.30pm / Thu, Fri & Sat 2.30pm  Tickets: £15.00 - £25.00  Box Office: 0131 529 6000  www.festivaltheatre.org.ukDance 4 America