In the fifth edition of Abu Dhabi's Durub Al Tawaya programme, the artists' engagement is as much with the city itself as with the public. In this year's performances, the artists explore the capital's landscape and social fabric through music, dance, sound effects and language.
“This year, Durub Al Tawaya’s programme invites audiences to an exploration of cosmopolitan urban soundscapes, where geographies, social politics, languages, histories and cultural influences converge,” stated the curator, Egypt’s Tarek Abou El Fetouh.
“The title of the programme is inspired by the long paths (durub) across the desert. In Emirati, tawaya refers to underground water springs and to taway, which denotes layers of meaning in classical Arabic and stands for ideas and values that are revealed as they unfold.” Here are some of the key events in the programme.
November 8 to 11: Evros Walk Water
A pertinent performance taken from news headlines. With Greece being an arrival point for war-torn refugees, Berlin-based Daniel Wetzel, from theatre company Rimini Protokoll, has worked with displaced boys to develop this stage and audio drama inspired by the struggles faced by those fleeing oppression. The show is also based on John Cage's famous 1960 composition Water Walk. Daily at the theatre, from 4pm and 7pm.
November 9: Live Ammunition! Music for Clapping, String Quartet and Live Electronics
Fresh from being awarded the Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale this year, Egypt’s Hassan Khan’s dense and pensive performance will look at how different sounds define our mostly-urban existence, through the use clapping, string and electronic instruments. At the auditorium at 8.30pm.
November 10: Stand-up Comedy Night
Laughter with a purpose. As part of the Durub Al Tawaya main theme of language, comics Aditi Mittal and Omar Ismail will present sets examining some of the stereotypes and absurdities that come from how we express ourselves. Both acts have pedigree – Mittal was one of e first women to perform stand-up comedy in India and Emirati-British comic Ismail’s observational humour has made him a regular on both the local and regional circuit. In the auditorium at 8.30pm.