DUBAI: Installations focused on a sustainable future are on show at the latest edition of Dubai Design Week, running until Nov. 13.
Exhibitors from around the world have descended on the UAE city for the event and participating for the first time is world-renowned Italian fashion school Polimoda with alumni Lisa Mara Batacchi’s installation, “Shamal: Sand, Stone, Stars.”
Polimoda director, Massimiliano Giornetti, told Arab News: “I found Dubai Design Week to be an opportunity to widen our horizon.
“We are looking into new bridges and cultural exchanges, and I believe Dubai is a natural hub in which different cultures, influences, and inspirations are melted together.”
The former creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo and ex-Polimoda student now brings his vast experience into shaping the future of the design school.
“I feel that as a creator, there is a moment in which you need to give back your knowledge, experience, and know-how to the younger generation of creatives. I really believe that is a natural transition.”
Giornetti expressed pride about showcasing an alumni’s creation at Dubai Design Week. Curated by Federica Forti, Batacchi’s large-scale installation was inspired by Zoroastrian architecture and aims to highlight the upheavals of nature and the tumultuous times of the present day.
Batacchi has attempted to translate this via an image of a sandstorm – Shamal – the hot wind blowing from the northwest over the Arabian Peninsula. Batacchi wishes for the rebirth of humanity for the sake of greater spirituality and harmony.
Tapestries titled “Meditating on Earth” and “The World Is So Far Reversed” dominate. Hand-woven by the artist using raw and naturally dyed yarns and some vintage 1930s lacquer silks, their irregular texture was inspired by the sand continuously changing its form.
Giornetti said: “Shamal as an installation has a symbolic meaning – the necessity of collaboration between people and the possibility to interweave cultures, to reconnect with nature, to open a gate between earth and sky.
“The sense of absence of color is a deep and radical approach to a design that looks into the surfaces and textures more than decoration.
“Shamal is in my concept an ideal city of the future, in which the humans are connected through emotions.”
DUBAI: US Palestinian producer DJ Khaled is gunning for Grammy success in 2023 with a total of six nominations.
The six nods, including Song of the Year where he competes against the likes of Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, have come thanks to his 13th studio album, “God Did,” released in August this year.
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The musician has been nominated in the categories of Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Melodic Performance and Song of the Year.
He has also been nominated in the Album of the Year category, due to Mary J. Blige’s “Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe),” on which he features.
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In the Arab world, Lebanese-French trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf has also been nominated in the Best Global Music Album category for his collaborative album “Queen of Sheba” with award-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and actress Angelique Kidjo.
Meanwhile, singing sensation Beyonce netted the greatest number of nominations, setting up a musical showdown with Adele, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar and others for the top prize of album of the year.
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Beyonce leads the pack with nine nominations overall — including nods in the dance and R&B categories. She is now tied with husband Jay-Z as the most-nominated artist in Grammy history, with a total of 88, overtaking Sir Paul McCartney and Quincy Jones.
Beyonce’s “Renaissance” will compete for album of the year with Adele’s “30,” “Harry’s House” from Styles, “Special” from Lizzo, as well as albums from ABBA, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile and Coldplay.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, also in the running for album of the year for “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” received eight nominations overall, followed by Adele and Carlile with seven each.
DUBAI: The Grand Egyptian Museum announced on Tuesday that it will host events and tours in the complex to test the visitor experience ahead of the site opening.
The complex will be partially open for a limited number of visitors. During this phase, guests will be able to experience parts of the museum like the Hanging Obelix Square in front of the museum, the grand hall, the children’s museum, the immersive hall, the outdoor areas and retail and food and beverage outlets.
Entry to the grand hall will give visitors access to a selection of remarkable artefacts, including the Statue of Ramesses II, the 10 Statues of Senusret, the Sakkara Cannon, the victory column of Mr-N-Ptah, in addition to the Ptolemaic King and Queen statues.
Located two kilometers from the Pyramids of Giza, the new museum complex is home to the world’s largest archaeological collection.
It occupies a total land area of 500,000 square meters and is situated between the Great Pyramids and the modern city of Cairo.
All other museum interior spaces, including access to main galleries and the two Tutankhamun galleries, will remain closed in preparation for the full site opening.
ABU DHABI: This month marks the five-year anniversary since the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors. The museum, which opened on Nov. 11, 2017 with an aerial show, fireworks and an extravaganza of music and light under Jean Nouvel’s futuristic dome, is celebrating its milestone birthday with similar fanfare. It is the first museum to open on Saadiyat Island where Frank Gerry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Norman Foster’s Zayed Nation Museum are still awaiting completion.
The fifth anniversary, which is being celebrated under the theme “The Grand Story,” continues offering new acquisitions, cultural events, educational activities and global entertainment.
“Celebrating a major milestone such as our fifth anniversary is a clear reflection of the sustained growth and progress in the region’s arts and culture landscape,” Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi Manuel Rabaté told Arab News. “As the first universal museum in the Arab World, Louvre Abu Dhabi has connected the region’s artistic ecosystem with the global cultural scene.”
Among the new acquisitions and loans from around the world is the arrival of Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned masterpiece, “Saint John the Baptist,” the first in a series of four major loans from the Louvre Museum in Paris. Loans from other partner museums include an ivory comb dating to 2300 B.C. from the Sharjah Archaeological Museum, a copy of “The Travels of Marco Polo” dating to the second half of the 14th century from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the painting “Woman in Blue” by Pablo Picasso, completed in 1944 from the Centre Pompidou.
These loans are displayed alongside several new acquisitions by the museum, including those recently acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi for its permanent collection such as the painting “Thurifer Angel in a Yellow Tunic” (c. 1520) by Bernhard Strigel, “The Cup of Chocolate” (1877 – 1878) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (currently on display in the museum’s “Impressionism” exhibition), and a Chinese ritual tripod food vessel from the late Shang Dynasty (12th – 11th century B.C.).
Among the new contemporary installations are 11 mirrors from Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto’s series “Mirror Paintings,” on display until February 2023, comprising panels of stainless steel polished to a mirror finish, onto which the artist applies an image made by tracing a photograph blown up to life-size proportions on delicate paper.
Also on view is British artist Jenny Holzer’s “BIRTHDAY” in the form of a large-scale light projection on the museum’s impressive architecture.
The line-up of events staged to mark the museum’s five-year anniversary includes workshops, curatorial talks and performances by regional and international stars John Legend, Majid Al-Muhandis and Omar Khairat.
The anniversary events are supported by Cartier and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth-anniversary partners.
The celebratory month of programming emphasizes the importance of the cultural institution’s place within the UAE, the greater Middle East and the world.
“The development of cultural institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi also reinforces the local artistic landscape and supports artists from surrounding countries and regions,” Rabaté said. “Since its inception, Louvre Abu Dhabi has been a testing ground for new ideas in a globalized world, championing a new generation of cultural leaders. Regional cooperation remains a top priority for Louvre Abu Dhabi, and I am looking forward to working with our key partners and stakeholders across the region to deliver value for all our audiences.”
The museum reflects the idea of cultural transformation for the UAE and the greater Gulf region as well as the ability to offer, in Rabaté’s words, “endless moments of cultural connections.”
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Futures announced on Tuesday the second speaker lineup for its third edition set to take place in Riyadh from Nov. 17 to 19.
The latest lineup includes Badara Ndiaye, Sara Maino and representatives from Saudi Arabia-based company Zid.
Ndiaye is a former NBA basketball player-turned-model. He is a fashion editor and creative director who worked for Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana and Puma. He will run a program aimed at inspiring future creative directors.
Maino is an expert at scouting emerging creative talent in the industry. She will offer portfolio reviews for Saudi brands.
Zid helps designers and retailers grow their digital presence. Representatives from the company will host workshops about running efficient and profitable businesses, offering one-on-one consultations and mentorship opportunities.
Fashion Futures, which aims to unite fashion lovers around the world and celebrates the Kingdom’s fashion industry, will host talks by Stella Jean, the Italian-Haitian designer; Roksanda Ilincic, founder of ROKSANDA and the go-to designer for celebrities and royalty; Augustinus Bader, an expert in stem cell research, and Valentina Ignatova, co-founder of BY FAR.
“I am so happy to accept this invitation to be with the design community in Saudi Arabia,” said Jean in a statement. “I will use this as an opportunity to explore and discover the beautiful craftsmanship of the woman of this beautiful country.”
Regional and global figures will discuss key sector issues such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, diversity and culture, and innovation during the three-day Fashion Futures gathering.
The event will also provide a shopwindow for Saudi designers and brands to showcase and sell their products.
DUBAI: Marking 25 years since its Broadway premiere, “The Lion King” stage musical will make its Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 16, providing audiences from across the region with a rare opportunity to enjoy the award-winning production up close and personal in the UAE capital.
The long-running adaptation of Disney’s popular 1994 animated film tells the coming-of-age story of young lion prince, Simba, who is forced to mature quickly when his father dies and he has to reclaim his birth-right.
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“What I’m so excited in bringing the show to Abu Dhabi is that this is the original production that has been seen for over 20 years on Broadway, and has been seen on stages in the West End, in Australia, in Hamburg, Japan, in so many theatrical markets around the world, and we will be delivering director Julie Taymor’s extraordinary theatrical vision to local audiences for the very first time. This is truly an iconic production,” said Michael Cassel, CEO of Michael Cassel Group, the theatrical producer leading “The Lion King’s” four-week run at Etihad Arena, in an interview with Arab News.
“Audiences are in for an absolute treat because it is theater at its very best. The way Julie Taymor — who’s the original director of the production and the first female director to win the Tony Award for Director of Best Musical — what she imagined, and the world she’s created, as she brought the African savannah to life in a theater, is quite simply extraordinary,” he added.
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Over 100 people, both onstage and behind the scenes, will be bringing the show to Abu Dhabi. “We have performers from all around the globe who are in this company of ‘The Lion King.’ It truly is an international company, which is very rare. We have a lot of cast members from South Africa, which is so important to ensure authenticity in terms of the performance and certainly also the music that Lebo M. composed,” said Cassel.
The stage musical’s popularity is also, of course, helped by the original film’s stellar soundtrack, created by Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, but also adapted for the theater with the help of South African producer and composer Lebo M.
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Expanding on how Lebo M. was brought into the show, Cassel said: “The way that the score for the stage production came to be is that when Tom Schumacher, who is the producer of ‘The Lion King’ and president of Disney Theatrical, was in conversation with Julie Taymor to direct it, he shared with Julie an album which had been released after the film was first released, and it was called ‘Rhythm of the Pride Lands’ and it featured all of this ‘Lion King’-inspired African music composed by Lebo M.
“When Julie listened to that, she had the great idea that the music — as would be required for a Broadway show — needed to be expanded, and Lebo was engaged to work on production with Julie and with also Elton John and Tim Rice to bring some of his music to the stage production. And, really, that’s now at the core of the show.
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“The music is distinctive in terms of representing the sounds — the rhythms — of Africa, and as I said, you know, it has the hit songs that people may know and love from the film, such as ‘Circle of Life’ or ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight,’ but then features haunting new songs created for the stage, such as ‘Shadowland’ and, one of my favorite songs of all time, ‘He Lives In You,’” he added.
“The Lion King” runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 10 at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi.