Pomegranates Festival

“Cut open a pomegranate and you’ll find a multitude of seeds; much the same can be said for this annual dance and arts festival…expect a fascinating cocktail of movement.“ THE LIST

Established in 2022, Pomegranates is Scotland’s springtime festival sowing the seeds and sequins of world trad dance across the country. Every year Pomegranates becomes a platform for the diverse Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland members to teach, learn and perform. In addition, the festival provides a wider public showcase for the range of our artists’ residencies and dance theatre productions open to new and returning audiences, including families and young people.

 

Pomegranates is part of our advocacy for the vibrancy and visibility of Scottish and world trad dance practised across the country as part of our global intangible heritage. At Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, we advocate and support through free membership and three major routes – residencies, productions and festivals, such as Pomegranates. Initiated and curated by The Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, Pomegranates is produced in partnership with TRACS (Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland), Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Libraries, Dance Base and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

 

This year the festival season starts as early as 24 February 2024 with a series of related events and culminates in a long festival weekend 25-30 April 2024 at our home – the Scottish Storytelling Centre and various partner venues across Edinburgh, with some livestreaming worldwide.

 

Explore THE POMEGRANATES 2024 programme listed chronologically below and book your space now
VIEW PROGRAMME 2024
CHECK HIGHLIGHTS 2024
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world trad dance: PIZZICA PIZZICA

Social dance session: beginners

24 FEBRUARY 2024

Stockbridge Library

FREE

Registration required


Try the energetic Pizzica pizzica with dance tutor Lara Russo and friends  from Italian Folk Connections and the Badwills!

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world trad dance: BOLLYWOOD

Social dance session: beginners

28 FEBRUARY 2024

Stockbridge Library

FREE

Registration required


Enjoy a spot of Garba – a Gujarati dance led by Apeksha Bhattacharyya and accompanied by Gourab Dey.

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trad dance CAST: FEISTY WOMEN

Podcast

8 MARCH 2024 ON

Worldwide online

FREE

Spotify login required


Hear Pat Ballantyne and Helen Russell share stories of the ‘bonny fechters’ of Scottish trad dance.

LISTEN NOW

trad dance CAST: FEISTY WOMEN

Podcast

8 MARCH 2024 ON

Worldwide online

FREE

Spotify login required


Tune in! Our podcast host Eleanor SInclair talks to Caroline Brockbank of CeilidhKids + Natasha Khamjani and Kerry Fletcher of Folk Dance Remixed.

LISTEN NOW

world trad dance: OLD TIME

Social dance session: beginners

9 MARCH 2024

Stockbridge Library

FREE

Registration required


Try Old Time dancing – probably the most endangered Scottish dance style, but worth resurrecting. With Pia Walker and Bernie Hewitt.

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world trad dance: LINDY HOP

Social dance session: beginners

13 MARCH 2024

Stockbridge Library

FREE

Registration required


Spring into Lindy Hop – a swing dance from the 1930-40s founded by Black American communities. With Rob Armitage and friends.

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trad dance: AMERICAN LINE

Social dance session: beginners

23 MARCH 2024

Stockbridge Library

FREE

Registration required


Expore the origins of American Line and sample the dances with Angel Godwin and Rachel Petyt.

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Dance Around the World 

Exhibition

3-30 April 2024

Edinburgh Central Library

FREE

No need to book in advance


Browse trad dance books and artifacts handpicked from public and private collections.

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World Trad Dance Crafts

Craft Workshop

10 April 2024 6pm

Edinburgh Central Library

FREE

Registration required


Try heritage crafts associated with trad dance with festival artist-in-resident Mare Tralla.

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World Trad Dance Crafts 

Workshop

17 April 2024 6pm

Edinburgh Central Library

FREE

Registration required


Try heritage crafts associated with trad dance with festival artist-in-resident Mare Tralla.

REGISTER NOW 

Dance Around the World 

12 Workshops for Dance Artists

20 April 2024 9am-5pm

St Leonard’s Land Dance Studio

FREE

Registration required


Advance your professional development with ace tutors and live music. Attend in-person.

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Dance Around the World 

12 Workshops for Dance Artists

20 April 2024 9am-5pm BST

Livestream

FREE

Registration required


Advance your professional development with ace tutors and live music. Join online.

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Vengefully Changed Allegiance

Exhibition

23-30 April 2024 

Scottish Storytelling Centre Court

FREE

No need to book in advance


Preview this sustainable fashion exhibition by Alison Harm of Psychomoda and explore the role of tartan in trad dance.

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Europeade at 60 

Presentation

25 April 2024 11am

Scottish Storytelling Centre Court

FREE

Registration required


Help us bring Europe’s largest festival of trad dance to Scotland and meet Ruediger Hess, Europeade President.

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Vengefully Changed Allegiance

Fashion, Dance and Music

25 April 2024 7pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre Court

FREE

Registration required


Preview the exhibition and enjoy a new fashion and dance show set to live music with 20 performers.

FULLY BOOKED

La Danza de la Muerte

Sharing and Reception

26 April 2024 5.30pm

Dance Base

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Meet Marianella Desanti at the end of her Trad Dance Residency exploring her Costa Rican dance heritage.

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OLD TOWN Dance Traditions 

Walk and Talk Tour

27 April 2024 11am

Meet at Scottish Storytelling Centre

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Learn about the local folk dance traditions and the Scottish Court with storyteller extraordinaire Donald Smith.

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NEW TOWN DANCE HERSTORY 

Walk and Talk Tour

27 April 2024 2pm

Meet at Scottish Storytelling Centre

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Find out about the dancing mistresses who frequented Georgian Edinburgh with dance historian Alena Shmakova.

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ELEGIES

Dance Theatre Show

27 April 2024 7.30pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Experience a dance poem–homage to Hamish Henderson, lamenting the lives lost in the World War II.

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SWING INTO LINDY HOP

Social Dance Session

27 April 2024 8.30pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Swing to sets of Lindy Hop with our  dance musicians-in-residence from Castle Rock Jazz Band.

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JUNK FOOD

Dance Theatre Show

28 April 2024 10-11am

Scottish Storytelling Centre

FREE

Registration required


Sample a wee show devised by pupils and performed by students asking if junk food should be allowed at school?

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CEILIDHKIDS

Family Ceilidh

28 April 2024 11-11.45am

Scottish Storytelling Centre

FREE

Registration required


Peel the bannana? Just one of the moves in the big hoolie called by Caroline Brockbank of CeilidhKids.

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DANCING AROUND THE WORLD

World Trad Dance Sharings

28 April 2024 2-4pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre

FREE

Registration required


See pupils and Pomegranates dance artists-in-residence at primary schools across Edinburgh take the stage.

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we are migrant

Triple Bill Show

29 April 2024 7pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre

PAY WHAT YOU CAN

Booking required


Celebrate International Dance Day with our residents Jim Mackintosh, Mare Tralla and Jonzi D, plus 20 dancers.

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DECOLINISING THE CURRICULUM

Keynote Talk

30 April 2024 9am

Paterson’s Land Lecture Theatre

FREE

Registration required


Join our Hip Hop artist-in-residence Jonzi D to find out how to decolonise the curriculum. Attend in-person.

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DECOLINISING THE CURRICULUM

Keynote Talk

30 April 2024 9am BST

Livestream

FREE

Registration required


Join our Hip Hop artist-in-residence Jonzi D to find out how to decolonise the expressive arts curriculum. Join online.

REGISTER NOW 

World Trad Dance Crafts

Craft Workshop

30 April 2024 6pm

Edinburgh Central Library

FREE

Registration required


Try heritage crafts related to trad dance with festival artist-in-resident and craft activist Mare Tralla.

REGISTER NOW 

 

Pomegranates 2024 festival of international traditional dance is initiated, curated and produced by Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland in partnership with TRACS, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh City Libraries, Dance Base and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The Pomegranates Festival is funded by TRACS, Creative Scotland through the Traditional Dance Target Fund, City of Edinburgh Council through the Warm and Welcoming Fund, The William Syson Foundation and Scottish Community Alliance through the Pockets and Prospects Fund.