Festival brings cultures of the world to the north east

Members of the KalaSangam Indian Dance School
Members of the KalaSangam Indian Dance School

Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF) is nearly ready to launch its annual summer festival with shows to be held in both Inverurie and Kemnay.

Featuring some of the most talented and culturally diverse range of young musicians, dancers, choirs and actors from the across the world, country and region, the 45th festival once again promises the opportunity to ‘See the World in Aberdeen and North-east.'

With gala performances, intimate community events and large, free outdoor events, as well as a full daytime and evening programme of shows and concerts, there is no shortage of things to see and do as part of AIYF.

Alongside the vast programme of events in Aberdeen City, there are many opportunities to witness some AIYF energy and colour right on your doorstep, with performances in Inverurie and Kemnay occurring over the festival period.

First up will be the visit of an African dance and music group from Burundi on Saturday, July 29 at Kenmay Village Hall. This lively session of storytelling, using drums, song and dance, promises to be greatly entertaining.

Also sure to be full of high quality performances and high energy will be the annual AIYF Inverurie Gala at the Inverurie Town Hall.

Bringing together musicians, dancers and performers from Russia, Scotland, Africa, India and Brazil, this show will truly represent the diversity of the festival as well the breadth of cultural offering on show.

The gala comes to the Town Hall on Tuesday, August 1 at 7:30pm.

Also coming to Inverurie are festival returnees, Umkhathi Theatre from Aberdeen’s Twin City of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe, who will be sharing their songs and music of the country.

They can be seen on Friday, August 4 from 7:30pm at St Andrews Parish Church.

Tickets for both Inverurie shows are available from Morgan’s Music.

AIYF this year presents over 70 performances in venues large and small across the region, with 900 performers from over 15 countries playing their part.

Theatre from Spain, vocal excellence from Iceland and traditional music from the USA, to name but a few, delineates the truly wide choice.

Scotland's own young talent also provides some of the 2017 festival highlights, with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland coming to His Majesty's Theatre on Thursday, August 3 and vocal groups from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Edinburgh also participating.

New for 2017 is a partnership with the Aberdeen Multicultural Centre which will see the 'Aberdeen Mela – One World Day' festival of music, food and family activities take place at Westburn Park in Aberdeen on Sunday, July 30.

A wonderful showcase of the diversity of the North-East with the sounds and tastes of Asia, Latin America and Africa fusing together with the Scottish and European cultures and cuisine, this should be a highly memorable event.