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February 20, 2010

Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 Programs Announced

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) yesterday announced its educational program for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 which will take place from 20 March until 7 April. Inspiring students, children, young artists and the general public to expand the horizons of their creativity, the program will engage the community in workshops and debates in order to raise the level of awareness and understanding for the arts across the UAE.

The education program highlights includes workshops at the British School led by adventurous cellist Matthew Barley, The Salzburg Marionette Theatre performance of ‘The Sound of Music’, Birmingham Stage Company performances and workshops for Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, Live Music Now! workshops with students at Abu Dhabi special needs centers, as well as pre-concert talks for the festival concert program and the ADMAF debates.

The Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, which is held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, offers a unique platform combining world-class performances from the masters of the arts world today, cultural vision and a depth of community spirit.

HE Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder and Artistic Director of the Abu Dhabi Music &Arts Foundation, comments:

“Education is the heart and soul of the Abu Dhabi Festival, which, since its establishment, has tirelessly worked to embed arts and culture into the capital and throughout the seven emirates. By inspiring youngsters to embrace the arts, they will contribute to the creation of a thriving cultural center for Abu Dhabi. The outstanding educational performances and events offered as part of the Festival will allow young people and the general public to truly free their imagination, experience true artistic innovation and gain inspiration so that their creativity may also flourish.”

“I am a strong believer in the power of knowledge. This is why the festival will bring together 60 unique events and opportunities in visual and performing arts across the seven Emirates, providing our children with the opportunity for hands-on experiences, lectures, workshops, and performances. It brings me great joy to see children take to the stage and celebrate their talents. It is my belief that sustainable and engaging educational programs will play a central role in cultivating local talent and establishing Abu Dhabi as the world’s capital of culture, enlightenment and creativity.”

Inspiring the Youth of the Emirates

One of the recurring highlights of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 is the Children’s Day performance program, which includes workshops led by internationally renowned cellist Matthew Barley and his musical ensemble Between the Notes. Children and students from across Abu Dhabi will attend workshops at the British School Al Khubeirat, culminating in a musical showcase at the Emirates Palace Auditorium, which will close with the world premiere of an original composition by selected students, with Matthew Barley.

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One of the headline performances of this year’s educational program will be a performance of ‘The Sound of Music’ by the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. This production will break through language barriers, using puppetry to enchant children while educating them about the arts.

The Birmingham Stage Company will bring one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies “Twelfth Night” on a tour of the UAE, with a series of 10 workshops exploring the themes of mistaken identity, romance, tragedy and comedy. Combining performances with these hands-on workshops will provide young students with an insight into how a story is structured, in addition to the exciting experience of working with professional actors and learning acting skills.

The festival’s education program reflects ADMAF’s determination to foster the understanding and appreciation of culture and the arts throughout the UAE and at every level. The Live Music Now! team returns to the Abu Dhabi Festival this year with a two-week series of workshops for children with special needs. A number of interactive workshops and performances will be presented, founded on the belief that music has a special power that transcends boundaries and facilitates personal development, self esteem, communication, and coordination.

Lovers of sculpture and the visual arts will have the opportunity to delve deeper, with a tour of the Middle Eastern Modern Masters Exhibition by internationally acclaimed sculptor Adam Henein on 21 March, as well as the presentation of a lecture by eminent Iranian artist and pioneering sculptor, Parviz Tanavoli on March 30. Held in collaboration with the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, the lecture followed by a question and answer session will take place at Al Mamoura Auditorium. It will be followed by a workshop for selected students at the Ghaf Art Gallery on the following day.

Learning Opportunities for the Public

This year’s Festival provides the general public with life-long learning opportunities. As in previous years, the festival will offer lovers of culture and the arts the chance to listen to and converse with some of the world’s greatest performers in the classical arts. Many of the performances during the Festival will be preceded by artist talks, allowing audiences a momentary glimpse into the great minds that have helped shape contemporary arts practices around the world. These talks will start at 7pm and will last for 30 minutes. The talks seek to enrich the experience of audience members, be they seasoned music goers or interested first-timers, by offering detailed information about the upcoming performance, discussing the specific performance discipline and answering audience questions

This year’s festival will also introduce for the first time “The ADMAF Debates”, three fascinating panel discussions which will bring together leading cultural figures to discuss the hottest issues affecting art and culture around the world today, with a special focus on Emirati visual art.

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