NYUAD's Arts Center promises great line-up for upcoming season

New York University Abu Dhabi has announced the line-up of its 2016/17 Arts Center with more than 20 programmes blending music, dance and theatre. In news to fire up hearts in the capital’s cultural communities, banner names include American dance pioneer Trisha Brown, who will present her company in a series of site-specific installations in […]

New York University Abu Dhabi has announced the line-up of its 2016/17 Arts Center with more than 20 programmes blending music, dance and theatre.

In news to fire up hearts in the capital’s cultural communities, banner names include American dance pioneer Trisha Brown, who will present her company in a series of site-specific installations in “unexpected” spots across the NYUAD campus (February 24 and 25).

Tony-award winner Stew, alongside Heidi Rodewald, will present Notes Of a Native Song, his new “concert novel” in homage to playwright James Baldwin on November 2 and 3. Closing the season on May 11 and 12, hip-hop DJ Kid Koala will present an ambitious live show combining a string quartet, puppets, ­turntablism and cinema to tell the story of his graphic novel about robots in love, Nufonia Must Fall.

Heralding an even broader canvas than the barrier-bending inaugural season – which wrapped at the Saadiyat Island Campus earlier this month – the 2016/17 season kicks off on September 1 with a 27-hour continuous concert, entitled Ritual Groove Music, by Swiss pianist/composer Nik Bärtsch.

Open minds will also be welcomed for Holoscenes, a five-hour performance installation performed inside a slowly flooding aquarium – to signifying global warming – running from November 16 to 20, during Abu Dhabi Art.

“The biggest surprise from the first season was finding out who our audience was – and the people we reached were really willing to go on a journey with us,” said executive artistic director Bill Bragin.

“We’re trying to open up the method of expression – not just putting people in a room for 90 minutes, but asking them to use a different kind of imagination.”

Building on the success of several outdoor live music gigs – attracting more than 1,000 jiving punters – February 16 and 17 will host a two-day world music ­mini-festival, featuring danceable global sounds from Morocco’s Aziz Sahmaoui & University of Gnawa, Mauritania’s Noura Mint Seymali, Ukrainian folk quartet DakhaBrakha and party starting Cambodian/American psych rockers Dengue Fever.

To mark Holi, influential US jazz pianist Vijay Iyer will provide a live soundtrack to Prashant Bhargava’s film Radhe Radhe (Rites Of Holi), as well as performing with his trio, on March 30 and 31.

October 6 and 7 will host the two-night Disco Manila concept, combining retro Filipino tunes with a live band karaoke.

“Our goal is to be a place that brings together various communities of the UAE,” says Bragin. “It offers both a reminder of home – and a chance to share your culture with others around you.”

The second season will also turn the spotlight on artists and issues of the region. Badke, a joint Belgian-Palestinian production combining dabke folk dance with modern, hip-hop and capoeira will be staged on September 8.

On October 27, Morocco oud virtuoso Driss El Maloumi will perform a specially commissioned “string summit” alongside Hindustani slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya.

Kuwaiti electronic innovator Zahed Sultan will present an immersive visual spectacle alongside Brazil’s DJ Dolores, on September 21 and 22, while the work of Arab and Arab-American playwrights will be celebrated during the four-day Arab Voices: Here / There / Then / Now, from November 25 to 28.

The Ancient Greek masters will be radically revisited in two fresh literary adaptations; on March 14, Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare will present a solo play based on Homer’s epic with An Iliad, while Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca will use flamenco music and dance to retell Sophocles’s classic story in Antigona, on April 6 and 7.

The boundary-crossing Bang On A Can All-Stars will perform a diverse programme featuring the world premiere of a piece by leading Emirati composer Mohammed Fairouz, on February 2. During a two-week stay, the New York-based ensemble will also perform a collaborative work with the dramatic Siti Company, Steel Hammer, on February 8 and 9.

The second season will also see Hekayah – The Story – a ­multiple-artist National Day celebration of heritage, poetry, prose and song – return for a second year on December 5, while Imagine Science Abu Dhabi will return from March 2 to 4

rgarratt@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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