Zakir Hussain to enthral at Edinburgh

Edinburgh: Indian tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain`s beats set to dance by famous choreographer Alonzo King in their joint creation ‘Rasa’ promises to mesmerise crowds at the Edinburgh International Festival this month.

The hour-long creation is King`s third collaboration with Grammy Award-winning Hussain, who will perform live on stage at the festival with singer and violinist Kala Ramnath.

Considering the popularity of ‘Rasa’, the organisers have scheduled it for four consecutive days at one of the festival`s popular theatre sites, The Hub, from August 26-29.

‘Rasa’ is described as the "ultimate tandem" of music and dance with "each mesmerising and melodic drum beat inspiring a unique human movement".

It was originally scored for the 25th anniversary of King`s San Francisco-based company Lines Ballet in 2007 and has since toured nearly all the big festivals across the globe.

The Edinburgh International Festival, beginning Aug 13, is the biggest of many that Scotland`s festival city annually hosts between summer and yearend.

The others include Mela festival during Aug 6-8, arts festival Fringe Aug 6-30, the royal Edinburgh military tattoo Aug 6-28. This will be followed by the international book festival Aug 14-30 and the international storytelling festival Oct 22-31.

The yearend festivities will begin with Edinburgh`s Hogmanay from Dec 29 to Jan 2 next year, considered the largest New Year event in the world with five days of celebrations culminating with a massive New Year`s Eve street party.

Alongside ‘Rasa’, two other creations are expected to be runaway successes this year.

One is ‘Quimeras’, a dance tale about the journeys of migrants and refugees in Spain, conducted by the unrivalled master of flamenco style and virtuoso guitarist Paco Pena. The show will have its international premiere at the festival.

The other is the world premiere of ‘The Sun Also Rises’, based on Ernest Hemingway`s first major novel about a group of weary, aimless and frequently inebriated American expatriates searching for identity, redemption and diversion in Europe. It is being staged by the acclaimed New York ensemble, Elevator Repair Service.

Also standing out among a number of plays, dramas, soprano acts and orchestras will be Russian violin virtuoso Vadim Repin. The festival will hear composer Tchaikovsky`s Violin Concerto as an interplay between a solo by Repin and orchestra by the Russian National Orchestra.

Other musical and theatre greats appearing at the festival include John Collins and his company, specialists in adapting 20th century American literature for the stage, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Gunther Schuller who will share his experiences from a most remarkable and fascinating musical career that ranges from the orchestral platform to the jazz club, Sir Charles Mackerras who will lead the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus in a concert performance of the Mozart masterpiece, ‘Idomeneo’.


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