The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi announces its June program as Reconnect. exceeds half a million views
Following two months of successful virtual events, Reconnect. from The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) will continue through June with new shows and live Q&As with artists. A focus on dance, entertainment, and multimedia is designed to encourage people from all over the world to get involved with a diverse offering of arts and culture while they #StayHome.
The Reconnect. series has proved highly popular, with more than 20,000 people from across the globe tuning in to watch live, and over half a million total views of the series’ online content. The series was created as part of The Arts Center’s mission to use the power of the arts to connect, inspire, and entertain people at this challenging time. The reach of the series has been expanded through partnerships with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Cairo’s D-CAF Festival, the Singapore International Festival of the Arts, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), and others, creating a new approach for international collaboration.
Reconnect. sets out to offer unique ways to engage with arts and culture and all three events in June will be followed by live Q&A sessions with the artists, who will also be online with the audience during their shows.
The program starts on Wednesday, June 3 with ink, a contemporary African-American dance performance by Camille A. Brown & dancers, which was highly attended during The Arts Center’s fourth season. Audiences are also invited to take part in an ‘Off the Stage’ contemporary and social dance workshop, taught by members of the company the day before. ink will be followed by Ethiopian Dream by Circus Abyssinia, a show specially selected by Members of The Arts Center, while DATA NOT FOUND by Kaki King, commissioned by The Arts Center, has been selected by NYUAD Class of 2020 students, and is presented as a graduation gift to the outgoing class.
Executive Artistic Director of The Arts Center at NYUAD Bill Bragin said: “We have been blown away by the impact that our Reconnect series has had. The combination of beautifully shot and recorded videos from our past season, with the artists sharing the virtual room with the audiences in the online chat followed by live Q&A’s, and with global audiences we’ve been introduced to through our partnerships, have been quite healing. These final selections for the series capture both a sense of celebration that many of us need right now, as well as a sense of reflection, as we all try to make sense of our changed circumstances. While we all eagerly await the time we can all sit in the same physical space, being able to reconnect in this online space is surprisingly moving.”
“We’re especially happy that this final group of performances was selected with input from The Arts Center’s Members, and from the outgoing Class of 2020, pointing to the shows from our past 5 years which resonated with them the most.”
The line-up for Reconnect. for the month of June is:
ink – Camille A. Brown & Dancers – Wednesday, June 3 at 8pm (GMT+4)
Revisit the UAE debut of ink, an African-American dance performance that explores race, culture, and identity, by award winning dancer and choreographer Camille A. Brown. The show combines tap, jazz, modern, and Hip-Hop, using the rhythms and sounds of traditional African and handmade instruments. It explores the rituals, gestural vocabulary, and traditions that remain ingrained within the lineage of the African Diaspora. Through self-empowerment, Black love, brotherhood, exhaustion and resilience, community and fellowship, ink depicts the pedestrian interactions of individuals and relationships as grounds for accessing one’s innate super powers and finding liberation. The international partners co-hosting the event include: ASU Gammage, University Musical Society (UMS), Peak Performances @ Montclair State University , The Joyce Theater, The Ordway, OZ Arts Nashville, and MASS MoCA
Coming from New York City, Brown presents one of his final installations of dance theater trilogy about identity, in collaboration with Music Director Allison Miller, percussionist Wilson Torres, violinist Juliette Jones, and composer/pianist Scott Patterson.
The Arts Center is hosting a virtual Off the Stage dance workshop with dancers from Camille A. Brown Company on Tuesday, June 2 at 6pm. Open to the public by invitation, the workshop takes participants on a social dance journey, allowing them to investigate the ways communities used movement as a way of social expression. By learning about the past, it is Brown’s hope that the spirit of expression through movement is embodied in our present day – providing the individual with a platform to celebrate their identity and to share their personal expression with the community of participants.
The workshop will be taught by choreographer Juel D. Lane. Lane received his training from Tri-Cities Visual & Performing Arts High School, The Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, and BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has performed nationally and internationally with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and currently dances with Bessie Award winning Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
If you are interested in attending the virtual workshop, please register here.
Ethiopian Dreams – Circus Abyssinia – Wednesday, June 10 at 4:30pm (GMT+4)
Revisit the Middle East debut of Ethiopian Dreams, a family show with astonishing stunts and enchanted adventure. Presented by Circus Abyssinia, the first Ethiopian circus made by and for Ethiopian artists, the show makes you dive into the rhythms and roots of Ethiopia’s rich musical and artistic traditions.
Inspired by the story of its creators Little Bibi and Little Bichu, Ethiopian Dreams presents a tale of two brothers through death-defying tricks, stunning ensemble feats of human juggling, hoop-diving, Chinese pole, and contortion, performed to the irresistible beats of live Ethiopian song. The show is a surreal retelling of how in following their dreams, Bibi and Bichu find each other and in doing so find the means to make their dreams come true. The story at the heart of the show is a mix of autobiography and dream, and tells how Bibi and Bichu became jugglers, not from their adult perspective, but how they dreamed it as children.
DATA NOT FOUND – Kaki King – Wednesday, June 17 at 8pm (GMT+4)
Dive into an exceptional audio-visual journey through revisiting the Middle East premiere of DATA NOT FOUND by visionary guitarist and composer Kaki King. DATA NOT FOUND, which was commissioned by The Arts Center, is a gripping meditation on the data we live with, and the data we leave behind. King reimagines her guitar to immerse the audience in a world that is both sonic and visual. Inspired by elements of nature, DATA NOT FOUND incorporates lush, often responsive technical theater and projection work, using the stage as a canvas. The piece invites the audience to contemplate the nature of love, loss, alienation and rebirth, and how we as humans attempt to create meaning from the vast endless patterns of our world.
From Brooklyn, New York, Kaki King is considered one of the world’s greatest living guitarists, known both for her technical mastery and for her constant quest to push the boundaries of the instrument.
DATA NOT FOUND is directed by 2019 MacArthur Fellowship winner and Sharjah Biennial artist Annie Dorsen, whose works explore the intersection of algorithms and live performance.
To learn more about The Arts Center’s programs, follow @NYUADArtsCenter on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or or visit their website at www.nyuad-artscenter.org
The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi supports #CultureUpFront
Given the incredible global challenge facing our families, colleagues and organizations due to COVID-19, many cultural spaces, institutions and museums had to close their doors to practice social distancing and avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus. As an organization that is constantly looking at ways to promote and support local creative talent, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development initiated the #CultureUpFront hashtag on social media channels to allow creative spaces to continue their dynamic programming, but rethink ways to bring it to the audience worldwide that are now, more than ever, present online.