THE first show for the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival has been revealed: a new Chinese production of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

The production has been announced with Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, visiting China.

The show will be staged at the Festival Theatre from 22 to 24 August next year, with tickets going on sale next March, and is an early glimpse of next year's EIF: this year's festival programme has only recently been launched.

The Rite of Spring remains one of the touchstones of modern music: its debut in 1913 for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes company, with choreography by Nijinsky, led to audience unrest.

It is described as a "new interpretation of Igor Stravinsky’s iconic ballet" from choreographer and dancer Yang Liping.

Yang Liping is a dancer and the vice chairman of the China Dancers Association.

A well-known name in China, Rite of Spring is her second contemporary dance piece following the success of her previous work Under Siege, which received acclaim at its European premiere in London in 2016.

The announcement was made during a visit to China by International Festival Managing Director Joanna Baker who met with officials from Yang Liping’s Peacock Dance Company and Shanghai International Arts Festival.


Ms Sturgeon said: "I am pleased that an agreement has been reached to bring this wonderful performance to Edinburgh.

"Yan Liping is a world-renowned choreographer and I am certain it will be one of the highlights of next year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

"This is a perfect example of the strong cultural links that exist between Scotland and China."

Joanna Baker, managing director of the Edinburgh International Festival said: "We are thrilled to bring this remarkable reworking of the Rite of Spring to Edinburgh, marking the International Festival debut of Yang Liping.

"Yang is a superstar choreographer in China – she embodies a unique fusion of ancient and modern Chinese traditions, and it’s exciting to showcase her work in Edinburgh where it can be enjoyed by dance fans from all over the world."