Splash of Tartan
2017 saw the Tattoo celebrate the theme ‘Splash of Tartan’ promoting the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, with each performance seeing at least two of the nation’s ancient Clans take to the esplanade.
‘Splash of Tartan’ welcomed a cast of more than 1,200 performers from all points of the compass, including over 250 pipers and drummers, five United Kingdom military bands drawn from across the three Services, a first-time performance from Japan and plenty of other surprises along the way. The programme also paid rich tribute to the UK’s maritime heritage and the Royal Navy in this special year, with HMS Queen Elizabeth now on sea trials and HMS Prince of Wales in build.
This year’s performance reflected on Scotland’s links across the globe and showcased some of its finest musical traditions. As ever, the headline act - the Massed Pipes and Drums - created an unmatched atmosphere and sound, with more than 250 pipers and drummers playing in perfect pitch: the most iconic sight and sound of the Tattoo.
50 exceptional Highland Dancers from the Tattoo Dance Company, drawn from across the world, performed to a colourful score written especially for Splash of Tartan by Scottish composer Finlay MacDonald. Shetland Fiddlers ‘Hjaltibonhoga’ brought a tradition Viking longship ‘The Mirrie Dancer’ from Shetland with them, along with a Viking Jarl Squad for protection, to celebrate the invasions and settlement of their islands.
No Tattoo is complete without a stellar international line-up and 2017 was no different. First-time Tattoo performers, the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force Central Band took to the stage, complete with Samurai warriors and a breath-taking vocalist. The Fanfare Band of the 9th French Marine Infantry Brigade travelled all the way from Poitiers to deliver their tribute to our ‘Auld Alliance’. The United States Naval Forces Europe Band added to the celebration as they marked the years of sail and the strong maritime heritage we share.
The Indian Naval Band joined together with Teamwork Arts Dancers and the Tattoo Dance Company, to celebrate India’s coastal communities and the 70th Anniversary of the Independence of India, bringing vibrancy and light to the Esplanade in one of the biggest performance of the year.
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