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Press release

The Arts Center to host a range of international artists following on the success of the celebrated fall season led by NYUAD Arts Center Executive Artistic Director, Bill Bragin

Alfredo Rodriguez 24th Jan 2016

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi Announces Spring Program of Music, Dance, Theatre and Film

The Arts Center at New York University Abu Dhabi has announced its full spring 2016 line-up following the success of the inaugural fall program of free public events. Poised to delight arts enthusiasts from across the region, The Arts Center will welcome an array of acclaimed international performing artists including Desert Storm, a multi-artist festival of hip-hop and alt-pop with roots in the Gulf; the iconic and visionary Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble; funk powerhouses Pee Week Ellis and Fred Wesley; and the acclaimed UK-based dancer Aakash Odedra, among many others.

Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, commented on the success of the fall program: “We were thrilled by the enthusiastic response to our diverse fall line-up of international artists. At show after show, we saw various communities of the UAE come together to share common experiences and start to establish NYUAD as a home for arts and culture on Saadiyat Island. Through their extended residencies, artists discovered how engaged and appreciative the audiences here can be.”

About the spring schedule, Bragin said: “Our spring program goes even deeper in redefining how people experience the arts within a global context, with a variety of masters who have defined their respective fields and important next generation innovators. We are excited to bring such an eclectic program of global talent to experience Abu Dhabi and for audiences to share in our collective journey. We are also honored to be able to partner with other influential organizations, including the pioneering Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation, and performance arts collective, Rooftop Rhythms, demonstrating the power of collaboration in the emerging cultural sector.”

Boasting an impressive collection of music, theater, dance, poetry, film, and family programs, the spring 2016 program will kick-off on January 22 – 23 with the world’s biggest festival of ten-minute theatre, Short + Sweet Abu Dhabi Theatre Festival. Rooftop Rhythms #36 at The Marketplace (January 28) will host poetry and performance talent at the Middle East’s biggest poetry open mic show.

A packed February schedule will start by promoting musical talent from the Middle East with Desert Storm (February 3) showcasing artists that are breaking stereotypes and bridging cultural understanding across the region. Curated by Noor Al Suwaidi, Desert Storm includes artists Rotana Tarabzouni, a Los Angeles-based Saudi artist and songwriter; Sons of Yusuf, featuring Kuwaiti brothers Ya’koob and Humble Abdul; and Narcy (aka Yassin Al Salman aka The Narcysist) raised between the UAE and Canada.

Aakash Odedra Company (February 10–11) will see acclaimed UK-based dancer Aakash Odedra explore his childhood struggles with learning disabilities through a nexus of light, sound, design and movement.

From February 18 – 20, Imagine Science Film Festival Abu Dhabi will showcase films ranging from traditional and narrative to experimental, all highlighting the myriad ways that science can be investigated, explained, and understood. Featuring brand new films from key directors in the MENA film world alongside stunning international favorites from the last Imagine Science Film Festival in New York in October, the festival will present three days of essential cinema.

ATMOSPHERES An ArtScience Exhibit will be held in the Project Space from February 18 - 23. Accompanying the Imagine Science Film Festival, the exhibition will feature not only art that engages with scientific themes, but also aesthetically striking scientific data and imaging, expanding the scope of the festival into installation, sculpture, painting, photography and more.

Making a special stop in Abu Dhabi on their 20th anniversary world tour, Balkan brass band, Fanfare Ciocarlia (February 28) will bring their legendary “wall of sound” to NYUAD in a performance that will shake the walls and bring the crowd to its feet!

From March 10 - 12, The NYUAD Theater Program Mainstage Student Production examines the electrifying work of legendary Spanish playwright, poet, and director Federico García Lorca in Mujeres Cabalgando En La Arena | Women Riding In The Sand.

The acclaimed Taiwanese choreographer, dancer, and inventor Huang Yi and his robot companion KUKA bring razor sharp precision and stunning artistry to a spellbinding work examining the relationship between humans and technology in Huang Yi & Kuka (March 30 and 31).

Funk: Evolution Of A Revolution is an explosive multi-media show that tells the story of the evolution of music that changed the world, led by two of its most important architects. Masterminded by Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley, two of the great creative powerhouses of funk, this explosive multi-media performance comes to NYUAD on April 16, joined by special guests’ - soul singer Carleen Anderson, and hip-hop MC Add-One, while also featuring Dubai's funk standard Hamdan al Abri.

On April 24 and 25, Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble will offer an expansive view of Monk’s 50 years of making music with a visionary fusion of sound and movement as daring now as it was five decades ago. 

On April 27, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, NYUAD invites audiences to join the Joey Alexander Trio as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival Recital Series for a soulful and joyful musical adventure and witness the magic of this budding young leader, performer and composer as he presents an evening of beloved jazz standards and original compositions.

The Abu Dhabi Festival Recital Series will continue on April 28 with Grammy Nominated artist Alfredo Rodríguez, presented in partnership with The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Quincy Jones Productions. Schooled in the classical conservatories of Havana, Rodríguez’s artistry is informed as much by Bach and Stravinsky as it is by his Cuban and jazz roots, reflecting the talents of legendary jazz pianists Keith Jarrett and Thelonious Monk.

On April 30 in their UAE Debut, Amir ElSaffar’s 17-member big band, the Rivers of Sound Large Ensemble, moves beyond the notions of style and tradition into a realm of uninhibited musical communication, working in a broad spectrum ranging from Iraqi maqam to American jazz.

Finally, on May 3, Amir ElSaffar’s Alwan Ensemble delivers a lively and transporting performance of well-loved folk, popular, and art music of the Arab world. In Ashwāq, ElSaffar sets ecstatic works by revered Sufi poet Ibn Al Arabi X for voice, santur, and string quartet.

Reservations for free tickets will be opened approximately two weeks prior to most events. For more information please visit: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org