NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center - Performances in September 2015

NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center will lanuch its inaugural season of performing arts next month, with a packed schedule all the way till April 2016.  

The line up will include music, theater, dance, poetry, film, and family programs. According to NYUAD Arts Center Executive Artistic Director, Bill Bragin, the season will include "some of the world’s most influential master artists, alongside innovative artists from younger generations, nearly all of whom will be performing in the UAE for the very first time.”

All the events will be free to attend. The aim is to engage with the local community and "to foster relationships between performing artists and the city by encouraging active involvement between artist and audiences".  

The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center is a great addition to Abu Dhabi and the cultural scene in the UAE. I had a quick tour of the space a few months ago and there are multiple halls in different sizes to be able to accommodate different kinds of productions. I can't wait to attend the upcoming performances, screenings and talks. 

Curated to form a collective tapestry of artistically adventurous experiences, each free and public event – from dance with a scientific twist and songs from post-Independence West Africa, to a Korean laptop ensemble and Arabic jazz – will be held at the University’s Saadiyat Island campus. 

Leading the creation of the public arts community at NYU Abu Dhabi, NYUAD Arts Center Executive Artistic Director, Bill Bragin, said: “Abu Dhabi is an incredible nexus of north and south, east and west, a really cosmopolitan city that is investing in arts and culture as part of its identity. 

At NYU Abu Dhabi, we are looking to be a part of this dynamic and transformative effort, by building an arts destination and a cultural sector for Abu Dhabi and the region, by shaping and redefining the arts and by making them accessible. 

You can see the complete line up here and I will post the monthly events on this blog. The events are free to attend and online ticket reservation will be available approximately a week/two weeks before each event. I recommend youadd yourself to NYU Abu Dhabi's mailing list to know when tickets are available.

Line up for September 2015: 

Toshi Reagon - Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower: The Concert Version (UAE Premiere)
Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, 2nd and 3rd September at 8.00pm   
Venue: Black Box, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
UPDATE: Additional performace on Friday, 4th September at 5pm (announced on 30th August)

Toshi Reagon - Parable of the Sower- The Concert Version.jpg


Adapted from the post-apocalyptic novel by Octavia Butler, the extraordinary American singer-songwriter-guitarist Toshi Reagon’s new opera blends science fiction with African-American spiritualism and deep insights on gender and race to construct a mesmerizing meditation on the future of human civilization.

Written in collaboration with her mother Bernice Johnson Reagon, the iconic singer and founder of the vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock, Parable of the Sower is a work of rare power and beauty: at once philosophically profound and a wild entertainment.

Kronos Quartet (UAE Debut)
Dates: Wednesday, 16th September at 7.00 and 9.00pm and Thursday, 17th September at 8.00pm   
Venue: Black Box, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi 

Kronos’ omnivorous approach to repertoire embraces 20th-century masters and contemporary composers, jazz legends and rock gods, world musicians and maverick experimentalists of every stripe.

Now working into its fifth decade, Kronos is building on its celebrated legacy of innovation and mentorship, continuing to chart a bold musical path and inspire generations of fellow musicians.

The ensemble will present three unique programs over two nights in its Gulf debut, including the world premiere of the first new work written as part of its ambitious Fifty For the Future initiative

Wednesday, 16th September at 7.00pm - Good Medicine
Works from Central Asia and the Middle East are featured in this program that includes the world premiere of a work by Malian composer Fode Lassana Diabate. Also included is music by American composer Terry Riley.   

Wednesday, 16th September at 9.00pm - Hold Me, Neighbor
Kronos explores music of Turkey, Greece, Ethiopia and Iran, culminating in composer Aleksandra Vrebalov’s …hold me, neighbor, in this storm…, which juxtaposes sounds from the many cultures in her native Serbia.  

Thursday, 17th September at 8.00pm - One Earth, One Love, One People
Musical journeys into Iran’s carpetweaving community and war-stricken Beirut conclude Kronos’ residency, in this two-part program which includes world premieres by Fode Lassana Diabate and Wu Man, composed for Kronos’ Fifty for the Future project.  

Film screening - Nuwebe  (Middle East Premiere)
Date: Saturday, 19th September at 6.00pm (nprior reservation needed for this screening)
Venue: West Forum, Campus Center

A night of superb filmmaking and a chance to meet and chat with the award-winning Filipino filmmaker, Joseph Israel Laban. A graduate of NYU New York in documentary filmmaking, Joseph currently resides in Manila, Philippines.

He is visiting NYU Abu Dhabi with his feature film Nuwebe, inspired by the actual story of one of the youngest mothers in Philippine history. The film is based on the real-life events of Krista, who was just 9 years old when she became pregnant. Her mother believes that she was impregnated by malevolent supernatural creatures called “nuno sa punso” but the real story will prove to be more complicated than it seems.

There will be a Q&A with the director after the screening and a reception with food and beverages.