Talented musicians and dancers from across Europe will take to stages across the north-east during the seventh Aurora International Festival of Traditional Dance and Music.
The festival starts today and will run until August 13 with an eclectic array of performances planned, showcasing a number of cultures and traditions – including those of the north-east.
Among those taking part are two internationally renowned musical groups – Gruppo Folkloristico Pasian di Prato from Udine in north east Italy and Les Echos de nos Montagnes from Annecy in France.
Members of arts week organisers Aurora – an Aberdeen-based country dance and traditional music group – visited Udine in August 2016 and Annecy in August 2017 where they first made contact with both groups after watching them perform.
Festival manager Elly Macdonald, from Banchory, has been part of the group for the past five years and is looking forward to this year’s events.
She said: “Aurora is a really great group. We have dance classes once a week and they are attended by a variety of ages and backgrounds.
“We’ve been away around 15 times now and love inviting groups we see back for our performance-based festival.
“Once performances are done, the evening allows for people to get together and exchange music and traditional dancing ideas.
“We’re hoping for a decent audience for this year’s festival and we have sold a lot of tickets for the ceilidh already.
“Members of the group who speak Italian and French have been enjoying trying to explain what a ceilidh to our international guests.”
Festival performances will take place at the Ballater Highland Games, inside Elphinstone Hall on August 10, at Duthie Park on August 11 and at Crathes Castle on August 12.
The event has been made possible thanks to support from the National Lottery Awards for All Scotland scheme and Creative Scotland, via the Tasgadh Fund.
Visit www.aurorascot.org.uk for more information.