Trad Dance at Edinburgh Festivals

Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland supports the homegrown and international trad dance talent that helps make Edinburgh a vibrant cultural city for twelve months of the year, not just for August. Yet we are very proud to be highlighting the contribution of traditional dance artists in the programmes of Edinburgh’s summer festivals for a second year. Last year we hand-picked just over 10 shows with trad dance roots. This year we have selected 20 shows at Edinburgh Festival Fringe alone, including our own Fringe debut as producers with our own show Thistles and Sunflowers.


20 Shows with Trad Dance Roots at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Selected by Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland

CeilidhKids Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (Venue 170)

3 – 27 Aug: 10:00 (1 hour)

Family workshop run by our trad dance artist-in-resident Caroline Brockbank. Suitable for children aged 3-7 years with parents or carers, but everyone welcome. We involve everyone: skip, clap and march together to traditional Scottish music. Enjoy discovering very simple (often simplified) dances that you might find at a ceilidh or Scottish country dance, celebrating the social aspects of dancing with a partner. CeilidhKids is all about fun for all generations. Hugely popular with local families, now it’s your turn. Bring mum or dad along to partner you under the chandeliers! One adult can dance with two children. Further details


Flamenco Fiesta Alba Flamenca (Venue 237)
4 – 27 Aug: 16:30, 19:00 (1 hour)
The Edinburgh Fringe flamenco show that transports you straight to Spain. Powerful, heartfelt, memorable, exciting and bursting with festive energy. The intimate venue adds a level of charm to the whole occasion making you feel part of it! Further details


Flamenco Fringe Yotel Edinburgh Imaginex (Venue 572)

5, 7-12, 14-18, 21-28 Aug: 19:00 (70 minues)

Award-winning Daniel Martinez Flamenco Company returns with the stunning flamenco music and dance they are known for. Accompanying the intricacy and beauty of Daniel Martinez‘s guitar and fantastic voices of singers Inma Montero and Danielo Olivera, will be flamenco dancers at the absolute top of their game. Each week, in an authentic tablao, a different world-class flamenco dancer from Andalucia joins these incredible musicians on stage, including Angel Reyes, Ray Benítez and Cristina Aguilera. Choose the option to add a tapas and wine/drink package to your ticket. Further details


Harvest Zoo Southside (Venue 82)

5-8, 10-15, 17-19 Aug: 18:30 (1 hour)

A dance performance exploring the working body across two seemingly distant sectors: agriculture and dance. How do humans shape and cultivate nature and how does a trade shape us? What is it to cultivate a body? In Harvest two Danish performers from different traditions, a contemporary dancer and a neo-flamenco dancer, embody these questions in a set incorporating soil and grass. With audience in-the-round, the musical composition, with a multitude of sounds from modern agriculture, resonates through a large reverberating floor, shaking the room and setting the soil, the dancers and the whole space in motion. Further details


2Flamenco Argyle Cellar Bar (Venue 293)
5 – 27 Aug (not 13, 20): 21:00 (55 minutes)
Uplifting, moving and highly entertaining trip into the essences of Flamenco. Guitar, singing and dance coordinate spontaneously with humour and complicity in a fresh twist without forgetting its pure roots. Produced by TuFlamenco. Guarantees you are in for treat. Further details


Ceilidhs Great Hall – 9 Queen Street (Venue 74)

5-18, 20-23, 25-28 Aug: 21:00 (2 hours)

With dance teacher and caller, Ken Gourlay, ceilidh band and bar. All dances walked through and called. Fringe groups welcome – you can promote your show. Good exercise, great fun. ‘It’s so joyful’ (Audience review). Further details 


Papillion Summerhall TechCube 0 (Venue 26)

5-6, 8-13, 15-19, 22-27 Aug: 19:20 (1 hour)

What can we expect from the unexpected? What can we recognize in a world governed by unpredictability? Street and contemporary dance collide as three dancers weave in and out of sync through a complex choreographic partition, supported by a live, hypnotic musical soundtrack that blends the sounds and rhythms of jazz, hip hop and drum’n’bass. Inspired by chaos theory and complex mathematical equations, Papillon is an emotional, engulfing reflection on order and disorder, singularity and similarity, metamorphosis, and the importance of human connection in trying times. A powerful performance that will have audiences dancing in their seats. Further details


Change Assembly @ Dance Base (Venue 22)

8-13 Aug 13:00 (1 hour)

Estonian horeographer Igor Lider‘s invites the viewer into the exciting world of street dance. Dedicated to hip-hop culture since childhood, four male dancers bring their years of experience to the stage. Their encounter with theatre and contemporary dance space creates a new and extraordinary change. Multi level, modern and eloquent. Further details


Betty Brown Bags Magical SpigelYurt (Venue 212)

8-12 Aug: 16:00 (30 minutes)

Inspired by a traditional folk play from Lancaster, Betty Brown Bags and her musical sidekick Billy celebrate the strength and resilience of Northern working-class culture. This interactive show is a physical theatre piece by contemporary trad dance artist Phoebe Ophelia with a pantomime flair, featuring live music, clog dancing, singing and even some sword fighting, something for all ages! Let Betty and Billy tell you their tale of the evil Sir George and how they need all of YOU to defeat him. Further details


Haggis Ceilidh Stockbridge Church (Venue 317)

9, 16, 23 Aug: 20:00 (2 hours)

Want to experience the very best Scottish ceilidh dancing with one of Scotland’s leading modern ceilidh bands? Haggis Ceilidhs will give you the opportunity to experience an interactive, fun, authentic and energetic ceilidh in Scotland’s capital city. There will be no better way to embrace Scotland’s party culture than to dance the night away to the Haggis Chasers Ceilidh Band. Get your tickets now and don’t miss out! Further details 


 Gallus Stooshie  Debating Hall – Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14)

11 – 13 Aug: 14:30 (1 hour)

Gallus Stooshie is a modern Scottish dance troupe here to make ceilidhs cool again. Enjoy a sensational performance, then take part in the coolest ceilidh in town, all led by our gallus dancers. Expect fun, fancy footwork and floor-filling tunes in an interactive, family-friendly event you don’t want to miss! Gallus: bold, cheeky or flashy. Stooshie: a commotion or fuss. Gallus Stooshie: made in Scotland to make you dance! Further details





FailteGu BSL/Welcome to BSL Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30)

13 Aug: 16:00 (50 minutes)

Evie Waddell presents a fun and accessible show which celebrates the relationship between Gaelic and BSL language, whilst exploring experiences of creative connection and isolation for diverse cultural Scots. Combining stories, dance and signing with the songs, this show explores opportunities for d/Deaf people to own their space within Scottish culture. Further details


Flamenco in Scotland St Andrew’s and St George’s West, George St (Venue 111)
13, 20 Aug: 16:30 (55 minutes)
Flamenco in Scotland is back, full of bravery, heart, spirit and plenty of home-grown performers. Whether you are a flamenco aficionado or not, the new repertoire will enchant all music and dance lovers. Dinnae miss oot! Ole! Further details


Fanti Acrobats International  The Space Triplex (Venue 38)

16 – 19, 21 – 26 Aug: Times vary

Come and watch the hottest and most unique African traditional acrobatics and cultural show from Ghana, west Africa. An award-winning acrobatics and cultural group in Africa. Great tradition! Great show! Further details


Sufiana Main house – C ARTS | C venues | C aurora (Venue 6)

16 – 20 Aug: 15:00 (45 minutes)

An abstract representation of the philosophy of Sufism in thrilling choreography. Seven professional Indian classic dancers from Delhi form intricate geometric patterns accompanied by a spectacular light show with music on the path of enlightenment, awakening, unconditional love and salvation. The dance is a stylised Kathak presentation with enchanting music specially recorded for the Fringe by Indian band Mrigya. Sufiana is influenced by great Sufi poets including Rumi, Kabeer, Bulleh Shah and Tagore. A visual treat. Further details


The Centrepiece Craigmillar Park Church (Venue 638)

19 Aug: 09:30, 14:00, 19:15 (3 hours 30 minutes)

Discover and enjoy traditional dance from around the world with our experienced teachers. Experience sacred, circle and traditional dances which bring communities together. Beginners welcome. Hosted by Brant Bambery (Scotland), Shakeh M Tchilingirian (Armenia), and guests Laura Shannon (Greece) and Peter Vallance (Scotland). Also features local groups, Circle Dance for All and Central Scotland Circle Dance. Further details


Thistles and Sunflowers Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30)

22 Aug: 21:45 (1 hour)

Our own exclusive, one-off extravaganza featuring Celtic and Balkan traditional dance, music and stories. Marvel at the dissonant harmonies and vibrant ecstasy of the Bulgarian folk-song tradition in the vocals of Angela Rodel (winner of the International Booker Prize 2023 for translation) with the instrumentals of Blue Giant Orkestar. Discover how the three cultures shaped by the bagpipes resemble and diverge from each other. Also featuring trad dance duo Ariana Stoyanova and Alexis Street, who are joined by fellow Highland and Bulgarian folk dancers, and for the first time by Scottish and Irish step dancers, including Alison Carlyle. Further details


Beyond Boundaries Assembly @ Dance Base  (Venue 22)

22 – 27 Aug: 21:30 (1 hour)

Vibrant showcase of Scottish hip-hop dance which travels through the past, present and future as four performers portray explorations of culture, AI and our inner selves. Asili by Dorine Mugisha explores Dorine’s multicultural journey of self-discovery as she navigates systems, people and places. Broken Circuit by Max Evans delves into our connection with AI and questions its capacity to fulfil our emotional needs. Reflection by Nevil Jose and Ursula Manandhar expresses an internal conflict between the artists traditional culture and the freedom they desire. Further details


I’m Muslamic, Don’t Panik Assembly @ Dance Base  (Venue 22)

22 – 27 Aug: 17:05 (1 hour)

From Bristol to the Tehran marathon and back again, Bobak Champion invites us to join him on a journey to accept his own heritage, against a media culture which holds fast to the idea that the Middle East is a frightening and dangerous place. A joyful evening of dance theatre and hip-hop, it’s through meeting a series of weird and wonderful characters from across the world that Bobak is finally able to truly know himself. Further details


What Draupadi Said to Penelope LifeCare Centre (Venue 524)
24 – 27 Aug: 19:30 (1 hour)
Had Penelope ever met Draupadi, what would they say to each other? What stories or dreams might they weave? In this contemporary feminist reimagining, Indian classical dancers and musicians explore characters from the Mahabharata. Further details.