The Arts Center Presents What the Day Owes to the Night (Ce Que Le Jour Doit a la Nuit) By Cie Hervé Koubi

‘What The Day Owes To The Night’ combines urban and contemporary dance with capoeira and martial arts in a moving and spectacular evening-length work

Press Release

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) presents What The Day Owes To The Night (Ce Que Le Jour Doit A La Nuit) on Wednesday and Thursday, October 26-27 at 7:30pm in The Red Theater. The UAE premiere will be presented with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

What The Day Owes To The Night features a highly physical, stunningly fluid, gravity-defying piece that combines capoeira, martial arts, urban, and contemporary dance with powerful imagery evocative of orientalist paintings and the stone filigree of Islamic architecture. Through its mystical, enchanting, and hypnotic choreography, choreographer Hervé Koubi retraces his own history by relating it to the story of a young boy from a novel by Yasmina Khadra.

Hervé Koubi is a key figure in a circle of leading French choreographers. His work pushes the boundaries of contemporary and urban dance, and explores meaningful themes, in this case of family history, migration and identity, with the highest level of artistry. It is thrilling to present this show after more than two and a half years of planning and re-planning due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And it’s even more thrilling that the popular response has been so strong that we added a second public show. We are certain the performances will leave a powerful mark on our audiences.

Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin

Van Cleef & Arpels’ Director of Dance and Culture Program Serge Laurent added: “It is a great honor for Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels to continue the collaboration with The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi by presenting Ce Que Le Jour Doit À La Nuit. With twelve virtuoso dancers, the choreographer Hervé Koubi offers a vibrant choreography, a bridge between East and West, between France and Algeria. A pure moment of grace!”

On Monday, October 24 at 6:30pm, The Arts Center also hosts an Urban & Contemporary Dance Workshop, presented with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels. Guillaume Gabriel, co-founder of Compagnie Hervé Koubi, leads participants through some of the fundamental principles of urban and contemporary dance, together with an excerpt from Koubi’s own world-renowned choreographic work.

What The Day Owes To The Night navigates a diasporic identity that shifts between Arab and European orientations, reflecting Koubi’s Algerian heritage, as well as his upbringing in France. In line with the season’s theme, Stories, the piece draws from Koubi’s own story of self-discovery and family history, as he traveled as an adult to discover his Algerian roots more deeply.

The Arts Center has a long commitment to contemporary dance and has seen a tremendous response to work by artists of the Arab diaspora, such as Badke, Compagnie Käafig, and Mourad Merzouki and Kader Attou, as well as the forthcoming residency by Yaa Samar Dance Theatre.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts 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 over 115 countries and speak over 115 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.