Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 24 March 2023: Under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Founding Honorary Patron, the special 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival held under the theme “The Will for Evolution” saw music, dance and story come together during the presentation of Pearl Diver’s Daughter at Cultural Foundation on 19 March, cowritten by Emirati writer Maitha Al Khayat and Company | E's Executive and Co-Artistic Director, Paul G. Emerson, with music by Emirati composer Eman Al Hashimi.
Co-produced by the Abu Dhabi Festival, the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Cultural Foundation, the augmented reality-based performance blends cutting-edge technology with choreography, music and narrative. Featuring Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter, Mayssa Karaa as the storyteller, the performance took audiences of all ages on a journey beneath the waves of the Gulf to tell the tale of family, tradition and the perils of the diver.
Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “Abu Dhabi Festival was founded two decades ago with a mission to present the greatest works by artists from around the world as well as from our home in the United Arab Emirates. The innovative work by Emirati writer Maitha Al Khayat and Emirati composer Eman Al Hashimi is a testament to our nation’s exceptional creative potential.
Cross-cultural collaboration is a core pillar on which the Festival is built, and we are pleased to partner with the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Cultural Foundation to co-produce the longest augmented reality experience fusing together cutting-edge technology, narrative and contemporary dance. The story we have come together to tell with Company E is one of Emirati heritage and is a symbol of the legacy, creativity and innovation that define our nation and its progressive future,” Her Excellency continued.
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Assistant to His Highness the President of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority for Women’s Affairs, and Chairperson of the Higher Committee for Ataya Initiative. The Festival is also supported by its Lead Partner Mubadala.
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 will present exclusive commissions and productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, and workshops.