Exciting additions announced to the spring line-up All performance spaces are now open as The Arts Center raises the curtain on a jam-packed season

Compagnie Käfig - PIXEL
Press Release

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) is ready for its third season, with all performance spaces now open and ready to host an adventurous schedule of music, dance, theater, poetry, and film. In addition to performances previously announced in May, The Arts Center is proud to announce several exciting additions to the line-up for its spring season.

Amongst these is Angélique Kidjo’s Remain in Light, which sees the three-time Grammy winner, and one of the African continent’s most influential figures, perform for the first time in the UAE. Kidjo reimagines Talking Heads' classic 1980 album in a performance full of electrifying rhythms, African guitars, layered backing vocals and more.

Making its Middle East debut is Noura by award-winning playwright Heather Raffo, a show produced by Shakespeare Theatre Company that harnesses themes of inclusion and empathy as it challenges our notions of belonging, shame, and sacrifice through the eyes of Iraqi immigrants in New York. Inspired in part by Ibsen’s classic play A Doll’s House, Noura is directed by Joanna Settle, NYUAD associate arts professor of theater. Settle recently directed the world premiere of Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s new musical The Total Bent in a twice-extended run at New York’s Public Theater.

In addition to the previously announced artists for the Barzakh festival, 47SOUL, RAM, and The Ex + Fendika, the festival sees two additions: Pedro Coquenão, better known as Batida (March 1, 2018), who brings his combination of old 1970s Angolan sounds with modern electronic dance music; and Dubai’s Al Nuban Folklore Troupe (March 2), with its entourage of 20 dancers and instrumentalists, as they display the hypnotic Afro-Emirati call and response tradition.

This season’s line-up is testament to the success of the previous seasons, and to our audiences’ enthusiastic reception and ongoing support, as several returning artists complete the line-up alongside UAE debut performances. Aakash Odedra Company returns to present the world premiere of #JeSuis, co-commissioned by The Arts Center. This new ensemble work choreographed by Aakash Odedra explores the theme of empathy that runs across performances this season, by considering the relevance of a life in conflict. #JeSuis will be performed in The Black Box.

Kronos Quartet, often referred to as the bravest chamber ensemble in the world, return to perform three programs in The Red Theater in February next year. These include a concert of new works from their Fifty for the Future initiative, a family program; as well as a live cinema collaboration with Academy Award nominated documentarian Sam Green, A Thousand Thoughts, in its regional premiere which was co-commissioned by The Arts Center.

Making its Middle East premiere is another Arts Center co-commission, Written in Water by returning artists Ragamala Dance Company and featuring music composed and performed by Amir elSaffar, another returning artist. This multidisciplinary performance at The Red Theater will explore the Indian board game Paramapadam – an early version of Snakes and Ladders that has previously been described as “a feast for the eyes, ears and heart.”

Bill Bragin, executive artistic director at NYUAD Arts Center said: “Our deepening relationship with these artists speaks to the role of NYU Abu Dhabi as a place that supports the creation of innovative new work that will travel the world representing the growing cultural sector of the UAE. It’s also a testimony that the world’s finest artists recognize the world-class nature of our venues, staff, crew, and audiences.”

To support The Arts Center in bringing exceptional performing arts programming to its audiences,
as well as the development of new works by emerging artists, a modest admission fee will be
introduced for select performances starting this season. This will enable The Arts Center to continue investing in the kind of world-class programs the audiences of the UAE have come to expect, and to provide for the long-term sustainability of the program, while maintaining the highest standards of artistry.

Bill Bragin said: “We were pleased to be able to offer free admission to all audience members during the inaugural two seasons in order to introduce the wide range of contemporary arts offerings to audiences of all backgrounds. This allowed audiences to get to know our artistic vision and gave them the opportunity to explore unfamiliar artists and genres, and to experience first-hand the unmatched quality of our productions. We are thrilled by how quickly The Arts Center has been embraced as a major new UAE cultural institution. The public response has served as “proof of concept” for the strength of the vision for the nearby Saadiyat Cultural District. Audience support through ticket purchases will help to position The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi for continued success.”

Selected performances will still be offered on a complimentary basis, making the programing available to the widest possible audience. Additional information about the ticketing process and related fees will be available soon on The Arts Center’s website and in its email newsletter. Audiences can subscribe to the newsletter at www.nyuad-artscenter.org.

The Arts Center at NYUAD is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions.

For more information please visit: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org

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About The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
Presenting music, theater, dance, film and interdisciplinary performances that defy definition, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions. The Arts Center draws on the resources of NYUAD to create a dynamic space for research, investigation, and the active pursuit of knowledge and wisdom for audiences as well as visiting artists.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 110 nations and speak over 100 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.