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August 10, 2011

Edinburgh: High Culture in the Scottish Lowlands

By Rachel Wolff | Art

Importing the Orient: Hiroshi Sugimoto's Lightning Fields 168. Photo © The artist. Courtesy of Edinburgh International Festival 2011.

The theme of the 65th annual Edinburgh International Festival is an undeniable trend: East meets West. "I felt we needed to take account of the tremendous shift in the world that's happened, even in the last five years," says EIF director Jonathan Mills. To wit, many of this year's offerings—which include dance, music, opera, theater and visual art—are Eastern interpretations of Western classics, such as the Peking Opera's stylized take on Hamlet and a staging of The Tempest set in 5th-century Korea. Other highlights include Re-Triptych, a new commission from Chinese choreographer Shen Wei (who conceived the jaw-dropping 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony) and stunning black-and-white photographs by the renowned Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. August 12-September 4; $15-$115 per event. Various locations in Edinburgh, Scotland; 44-131/473-2000; eif.co.uk.

Traveling to the festival? A guide to Edinburgh