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Artistic connections

The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi rings in its fifth anniversary this month with an incredible line-up of over 100 live performances in the UAE capital

Earlier last month, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi hosted the world premiere of a new contemporary dance production by Sima Dance Company. Inspired by the concepts of consumerism, populism, critical thinking and public service, Ansaf served as a prelude to the institute’s fifth season of performing arts. The power-packed show was met with thunderous applause from the audience, setting the stage for yet another exciting edition celebrating all things creative at the capital’s popular art hub.

Officially opening on September 5 this month and running until May 2020, The Arts Centre’s current season coincides with the institute’s fifth anniversary. Touted to be bigger and better than ever, more than 100 live performances are set to take place in the UAE capital as part of this year’s programming during the course of nine months. The fifth season will also feature six new works commissioned and co-commissioned by NYU Abu Dhabi as part of 22 artist residencies, three world premieres and 14 UAE premieres.

Over the last five years, The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi has served as a hub for artists from all around the world, bridging cultures and communities through shared creative experiences. It all comes together as a fitting tribute to its theme ‘Connection’ for the current season. Also in keeping with the Year of Tolerance, the programme will see local and global artists working in collaboration to champion new artistic narratives and engage with the regional art community.

On September 5, Ethiopia-based troupe Circus Abyssinia will take to the stage at The Red Theatre to officially open the season with a heart-stopping acrobatic show. Ethiopian Dreams marks the group’s debut performance in the Middle East and narrates a tale of two brothers through death-defying tricks, stunts, human juggling, hoop-diving and more, performed to live Ethiopian beats. Taking the season forward, the line-up will feature performances across the entire art spectrum including music, dance, theatre, poetry and film.

Those looking to delve deeper into the world of art can also make the most of workshops, masterclasses, live Q&A’s, talks and discussions running as part of the interactive programme Off The Stage. Through these insightful sessions, participants can learn more from creative insights, hands-on knowledge, professional skills, career advice and personal experiences shared by established artists. It’s all in a bid to create a platform for conversations, foster innovation and creativity, and catalase personal connections that promote a broader sense of community. 

Don’t miss the season’s highlights

  1. FLIGHT  An adaptation of the 2012 novel Hinterland by Caroline Brothers, the show tells the story of two young orphaned Afghani brothers who embark on a journey in pursuit of freedom and safety  September 12 and 21  The Black Box

  2. NYUAD MUSIC RECITALS SERIES  Contemporary classical music recitals presented by the NYUAD Music Program  September 12 and 19; February 4 and 5  The Blue Hall

  3. CINEMANA  Screenings of contemporary Arabic films including What Comes Around, Mafak (Screwdriver) and Of Fathers and Sons  October 14; November 4 and 25  The Arts Centre at NYU Abu Dhabi and Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

  1. HEKAYAH | THE STORY  Poetry and song in honour of UAE National Day  November 26  The East Plaza

  2. PIANO RECITAL BY AWADAGIN PRATT  The American concert pianist’s UAE debut  December 5  The Red Theater

  3. BARZAKH FESTIVAL  Six live performances across a variety of musical genres  January 31  The East Plaza, The Black Box and The Red Theater

  4. THE STORYVILLE MOSQUITO – KID KOALA  Live animated graphic novel performed, filmed and scored in real time  March 12 and 13  The Red Theater  


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