Media Centre

Press release

Number of community events increases to 35 events in 2010. First full length animated film in the world re-released for one-off screening. Hakawati UAE Tour The Art of Storytelling.

15th Mar 2010

Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 Community Program reaches across all seven Emirates to inspire the love of the arts

Details of Abu Dhabi Festival 2010’s Community Program spanning all seven Emirates was today announced by the organizers, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF). At the heart of the festival is the theme of “Bilad Al Khayr” or “The Land of Blessings”, which brings together communities in a shared love of music, arts and culture.

The program of 35 diverse events, a significant increase from 18 events in 2009, includes musical performances, storytelling, photography, film, workshops and community cultural groups.  One of the core themes of the community program this year is reviving the art of storytelling. Stories can be told with both pictures and words, and this year’s Festival will showcase a Hakawati tour, which will visit seven locations across the Emirates to perform entertaining short plays inspired by stories of “The Arabian Nights”;  a traditional Emirati storyteller known as Al Raawiya, which will showcase the unique identity of the Emirates; and finally a world premiere showing of “The Adventures of Prince Ahmed” the oldest, full length animated feature in the cinematic history, created in 1920s Germany and inspired by the stories of The “Arabian Nights” and “One Thousand and One Nights.”

The Abu Dhabi Festival will take place from 20 March to 7 April and is a three-week manifestation of world-class performances in traditional, classical and jazz music, drama, fine arts, and ballet. HE Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, comments:

“Community is at the heart of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 and we are delighted to have increased the number of events that happen at the grassroots across all seven Emirates to 35. There is something for everyone whether you are a music lover, a budding photographer or simply enjoy listening to the traditional stories of Arabia.

”The Festival is a true celebration of the UAE, the land of blessing, land of tolerance, respect and enlightenment. Inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, we endeavour to empower people and communities to enhance their creativity and embed their innovation in the world of arts”.

Highlights of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 Community Program include the acclaimed traditional storyteller Ahmed Yousef, who embarks on a UAE-wide Hakawati Tour with a series of short plays inspired by ‘One Thousand and One Nights’.  The tour will take place in Sharjah Women’s College, UAE University in Al Ain, Fujairah Cultural Theatre, Children City Auditorium in Dubai, ADMA Theatre in Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah Cultural Theatre and Um Al Quwain Cultural Theatre.

They also include the oldest, full length animated feature film in the history of cinema, ‘The Adventures of Prince Ahmed’, which is re-released for a one-off screening in Abu Dhabi. Presented as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 by Abu Dhabi’s Oumsiyat (Cinema Club) and The Cross Culture Group, the film screening will be accompanied by live music from Trio Khoury and the Perrick Quintet.  Taking stories from the “Arabian Nights”, the film was created in 1926 Germany, which received international recognition. In order to create the film, 100,000 individual pictures were hand cut and reassembled over a period of three years. 

At the Cleveland Clinic Symposium, the Arts & Medicine Institute will hold a forum on the healing link between music and medicine for medical experts and artists. The concert-symposium will explore the continuing mission of promoting the incorporation of the arts in medicine in order to achieve a faster and more global therapeutic effect on the patient. A diverse audience of physicians, musicians, music therapists, students, nurses, administrators, music lovers and the general public can attend this event at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. The Arts & Medicine Institute will also present a therapeutic piano recital as means for healing and rejuvenation exclusively for patients of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

Media presenter, Ali Alsaloom, will once again take participants on a fascinating one-day experience for the residents and newcomers to the UAE into the cultures and customs of the Emirates in the Embrace Arabia Cultural Tour in Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village. He will also conduct the Ask Ali Cultural Workshop Lecture in Dubai.  The aim is to foster a deeper understanding of the region’s culture, while revealing enchanting stories of the UAE through a thought-provoking seminar.  Events will take place at Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi and Knowledge Village in Dubai.

Enlightening the audience with tales of UAE’s ethnicity and heritage, Al Raawiya, a traditional Emirati Storyteller will join members of the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club in an informal evening of captivating stories from the Emirati culture and customs, along with poetry and literature. Meanwhile, gifted residents of Abu Dhabi will present their vocal talents in three a cappella groups as part of Artnetwork performances.  The groups include Voices of Harmony, an all women a cappella barbershop group, Blue Fever, a jazz     a cappella group and Abu Dhabi Choral Group, who sing in four-part harmony. Events take place at hotels across Abu Dhabi.  This special event is designed to provide the Abu Dhabi community artists with an opportunity to participate and perform in the Festival’s platform.

In order for women in Dubai to learn methods of preserving personal and family history in the form of photographs, printed media, and memorabilia, they will be invited to attend a Scrapbooking Workshop. The event will take place at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, a non-profit shelter for women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. ADMAF seeks to support battered women through the arts in hope to build their confidence and optimism.

As part of the Abu Dhabi Festival’s mission to demonstrate its commitment to UAE children with special needs, the Centre for Musical Arts Workshops will bring the joy of therapeutic music to these children with the aim of building their self-confidence and communication skills. Events will take place at the Al Rashid Centre and Al Noor Centre in Dubai

Aspiring to advance HCT Colleges students’ creative boundaries and motivate their artistic talents, a Time Photography Competition, which consists of a contest and exhibition of work for and by budding student photographers all around the UAE, will be open to all HCT men’s and women’s colleges in Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, Ras al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Ruwais with a top cash prize of AED 6,000.

To summarise the intellectual deliberations in the UAE, the leading cultural debating platform, Thinking Cloud, will release the second edition of its annual anthology of transcripts supported by ADMAF. The second edition book launch will take place during the Abu Dhabi Festival.  

Dubai Drums will conduct community drum circles for the ladies and children of the Abu Dhabi Ladies Group during their Fun Fair Day, which coincides with the Festival. The event aspires to unify the community through rhythm and group drumming in a distinctive way. The Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 will also exhibit ten arts and crafts stands at the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club throughout their Rainbow Island Fun Fair event. The objective is to encourage “learning through play” and to entice the social and innovative learning of fine arts among young children.

In partnership with the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 will present the 6th Emirates International Peace Music Festival between the 2nd and 7th of April 2010. One of the core themes of the Festival is Frederic Chopin’s bicentennial, which will host a group of rising virtuosos from all over the world who will perform together with the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra while touring the emirates. This “Peace Festival” is fully supported by ADMAF as part of its dedication to motivate and encourage young music lovers in developing and enhancing their musical talents.

As in previous years, the Abu Dhabi Festival has established partnerships with local community organizations as a reflection of its commitment to embedding the arts in the heart of UAE nationals. During the festival, the Ewa’a Shelter in Abu Dhabi will raise awareness for their dedicated efforts in helping women and children victims of human trafficking, by offering psychological, medical, and legal support, as well as rehabilitation. In addition, the Abu Dhabi Festival provides a platform for initiatives, such as Al Ghadeer World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Al Ghadeer seeks to generate additional income for rural families using the age-old practice authentic Emirati arts and crafts. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will inform the audience during the Festival about the global organization’s important work in reducing water and energy everyday consumption in the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 tickets are available from Virgin Megastores and with part of the proceeds going to the Ewa’a Shelter for Women and Children.