The 1999 Edinburgh International Festival
Green, Laurence, Contemporary Review
Actors with painted faces recite Shakespearean soliloquies in the streets, acrobats perform somersaults in front of astonished passersby, mime artists stand motionless and then start moving like mechanical toys and the traditional sound of bagpipes fills the air and merges with the noise of traffic and pedestrians. This can only mean one thing - the world's biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, is again in full swing. Nowhere else is a festival so all-pervading that it seems to take over the whole life of the city. The 1999 programme was as eclectic as ever, featuring choreographers Boris Charmatz, Meg Stuart and the little known Mats Ek, composers Gyorgy Kurtag and Heiner Goebbels, new plays by David Greig, Luisa Cunille, Tom Murphy and Marius von Mayenburg, pipes and string quartets, the Vienna Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony, amid a world class roster of musicians and soloists.
The chaos and turbulence of everyday life where individuals attempt to communicate with each other but fail is expressed through music, movement, words and dance in American choreographer William Forsythe's full evening ballet Artifact, performed by the Dutch National Ballet at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre. This is a massive work, danced to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and Eva Crossman-Hecht and staged on a grand scale with the company split into long lines of animated bodies, moving legs, arms and feet in total unison and forming complex jigsaw puzzles that fit together in a totally unexpected way. Configurations of familiar dance positions are altered and conventional transitions between steps are strangely emphasised, while a woman in historical costume links the disparate sections. Although I found the work rather repetitive, there is no denying Forsythe's inventiveness, his eye for …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The 1999 Edinburgh International Festival. Contributors: Green, Laurence - Author. Magazine title: Contemporary Review. Volume: 275. Issue: 1606 Publication date: November 1999. Page number: 261. © 1999 Contemporary Review Company Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.