Reflecting the growth of Abu Dhabi’s artistic scene, a new performing arts programme titledDurub Al Tawaya begins in Saadiyat Cultural District and expands into the city of Abu Dhabi, creating a special route connected by enactments and cultural happenings.
Durub Al Tawayarefers to the Emirati term tawaya;underground water springs unchanging loci that marked the paths – Durub – long taken by travellers across the desert, acting as point of respite along their journey. In Classical Arabic, Tawaya refers to layers of meaning, ideas and values that are revealed as they unfold. Curated byTarekAbou El Fetouh, the program will launch in the Capital during Abu Dhabi Art (November 20-21) and evolve with further programmes in 2014.
“The concept of Durub Al Tawayais to present a unique perspective on the UAE’s art, history and culture, that is rich with varied and distinctive styles of expression. It reflects TCA Abu Dhabi’s missionfor art to continue to be a ‘daily language’ in people’s lives, as we work towards preserving traditions and values inherited from our past and reintroduce them with a modern spirit,” said HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).
Poetry, one of the oldest artistic expressions with close ties to the nomadic culture of the region, is central to the Durub Al Tawaya program. Nabati poetry (Arabic language poetry written in Emirati dialect) has historically been one of the favoured forms of expression in the Emirati culture. Early on, poetry readings and storytelling became a staple of the Emirati coastal, desert and mountainous cultural landscape.
“Durub Al Tawayapresents a diversity of artistic practices; poetry, video installation and contemporary dance, giving audiences a path of discovery. Taking place throughout the city of Abu Dhabi, this programme is an intervention – exploring common grounds and intersections between artistic practices and uncovering ideas for the individual as their journey unfolds,” says Rita Aoun-Abdo, Executive Director, Culture Sector, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Inspired by “Ithaka”, the poem by Alexandria-based Greek poet Constantine P.Cavafy, Durub Al Tawayaengages his celebration towards the experience of a journey and not only its final destination. Cavafy’s poem dictates severalundertones from his life in Alexandria, described as a cosmopolitan metropolis which reflects the main characteristics of Abu Dhabi today: a global hub with a diverse society, a central geographic location and a progressive outlook for the future.
“Durub Al Tawaya will create a new public bus route during Abu Dhabi Art, connecting four stops that are of significance within the city: Manarat Al Saadiyat, Mina Zayed - the city’s historic port, Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Marina area, each venue will host a series of activities and performances with a diversity of artists, poets and performers,” said TarekAbou El Fetouh.
Prominent artists are commissioned to transform four buses which will serve this route, into moving art pieces using images, videos and sound: Cao Fei, famous for her 3D work will implement that into one bus; Wael Shawky, who featured in the last dOcumenta 2012, is commissioned to create a new piece for the program, transforming the bus into a video installation about black camels and poetry. The third bus will feature the artist Zeinab Al Hashimy known for her work on local traditions and Emirati heritage, revisited through the lens of experimental media and new materials, while the forth will be convertedby prominent artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov into a mobile art work and a performance based on poetry.
The public bus route will connect several stops of significant artistic and historic importance as well as public places and popular youth gathering spots. One of these stops is the fish market atMina ZayedwhereAl Dhafra Boat will be transformed into a venue for three art centres: Contemporary Image Collective from Cairo; the collective 98 Weeks from Beirut and ARTwec project for artist Afra Al Dahri from UAE, in which she invited artist colleagues to transform the boat to reflect images of life in Abu Dhabi.
Corniche Abu Dhabi presents an evening with Poetry Readings for ten Emirati poets on the beach in collaboration with the UAE Writers Union, Abu Dhabi branchSPEEDBATTLEs will collaborate with Abu Dhabi contemporariesto create a hip-hop battle that interacts with audiences. SPEEDBATTLES group developed a computer program to measure the enthusiasm of the audience and public passing by.
Abu Dhabi’s Marinaarea at Abu Dhabi International Marine and Sports Club will host a performance by artist and Future Generation Art Prize 2012 shortlisted RayyaneTabet titled Looking for Pearls through a boat ride around Lulu Island.
Manarat Al Saadiyat(where Abu Dhabi Art will also be taking place) features daily performances with an array of global talent; sound artist, choreographer and contemporary dancer Hiroaki Umedawho will present While going into a condition – a piece encompassing his trademark style combining hip-hop and butoh movement with light and sound. Musician and performer; Mahmoud Refat will present a live contemporary musical score to Walter Ruthman’s modernist silent documentary film Berlin: Symphony of a great city.Ho Tzu Nyen’swill present his remarkable post-apocalyptic tableau vivant piece EARTH, accompanied with live music by Hamburg-based band Black to Comm. Renowned choreography duosSelma and SofianeOuissiwill dance together in an online live performance using internet(located in Paris and Tunisia respectively),called Here(s). Hafiz Dhaou and AichaM’Barekwill present one of their latest creationsDo you believe me?a solo piece in the foyer of Manarat Al Saadiyat.
The sides of regular city public buses will be designed by words from Emirati poems, transforming them into moving performances interrelating within the daily life of Abu Dhabi. Contemporary designers; Salem Al Qasimi, Dima El Atab, Hamdan Al Shamsi, as well as HadeyehBadri, Hala Al-Ani and Riem Hassan will engage with the Emitati poems, creating a representation that translate meanings, concepts as well as the words into visuals roaming in the city. For more details on the programme please visit www.abudhabiart.ae
Abu Dhabi Art organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority is an annual platform for modern and contemporary art and design to be held from 20-23 November 2013. The event is sponsored by Julius Baer, the leading Swiss private banking group with a focus on serving and advising sophisticated private clients. Abu Dhabi Art is held at Manarat Al Saadiyat and the iconic UAE Pavilion on Saadiyat Island.
Emirate: Abu Dhabi
Date: Nov 13, 2013Back