Dubai's Arabic orchestra to play in Saudi this Eid Al Adha

Ithra will also host 'The Wizard of Oz' theatre production and Boxwars as part of its Tanween programme which kicks off later this year

The King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) will host the Dubai Arabic Orchestra for Eid Al Adha celebrations. Courtesy Dubai Arabic Orchestra f
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The King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) will host the Dubai Arabic Orchestra at its Ithra Theatre for Eid Al Adha celebrations next week.

"This Eid we thought about it and we loved the idea of an Arabic home-grown orchestra playing different and memorable songs within the Kingdom and the GCC and we found the Dubai Arabic Orchestra and approached them to come here for the first time," said Ashraf Alfagih, Head of Communications and Partnerships at Ithra.

The 28-musician orchestra, led by maestro Ahmed Taha, will perform one show every night from August 12 to 14, playing classics by prominent gulf singers such as Mohammed Abdou, Eid Al Faraj and Abdel Rab Idrsi, among others.

While the Dubai Arabic Orchestra is the main highlight of Ithra's Eid programme, Majed Samman, Head of Performing Arts at Ithra told The National that there is a variety of other shows, including a live music performance by Saudi band Al Farabi. "There is, in total, more than 20 offerings taking place during the Eid."

Since opening to the public, Ithra has hosted a total of 50 performances –  including a Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone concert and Iraqi oud legend Naseer Shamma, with a total of 25,000 attendees, said Alfagih.

"We host diverse programmes of local and international productions, basically trying to ignite the cultural curiosity and inspiring creativity in the Kingdom and within the GCC region," he said, adding that "it's a bit hard in the beginning trying to curate different shows that people never heard of, but I think we are getting there slowly, but steadily".

However, the upcoming season is a busy one for the cultural centre. "The most prominent offering that is happening soon is our second installation of the Ithra creativity season also as Tanween," said Samman.

Tanween took place for the first time last year and features a number of exhibitions, workshops and entertainment events across different disciplines, including art, music, film, theatre and culture. This year, the second edition of Tanween will kick off on October 10, 2019.

The programme will include the theatre production of The Wizard of Oz, which is currently on show in Bahrain, as well as as Boxwars, an art collective from Melbourne who create cardboard battle settings and destroy them. "The point is to build something from cardboard, then destroy it, which destroys the point," according to the Boxwars website. "There are no winners in Boxwars, only losers."

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