NYUAD Arts Centre expands line-up of online concerts and film screenings

Shows will be streamed in various formats including on the arts centre's website

Blues singer Martha Redbone will give an online concert for NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre. Photo Craig Bailey
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The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre announced the latest batch of free and ticketed online shows and film screenings as part of its sixth season.

The highlight is set to be the annual Barazakh Festival, a series of eclectic concerts that will be streamed next month.

On the line-up this year are three eclectic acts whose music will resonate during February’s Black History Month. Kicking off the festival on Monday, February 1 are the Afro-Venezuelan duo Betsayda Machado and La Parranda El Clavo, who will perform archival recordings by rural female singers from their homeland.

On Wednesday, February 3, the Martha Redbone Roots Project will take the virtual stage. Led by the namesake US singer, her set mixes Appalachian music with soul, blues, and Native American musical elements.

Redbone will return online on Sunday, February 21 and Tuesday February 23 for a Q&A session about the show, as well to conduct music workshops.

Wrapping up the festival on Saturday, February 6 are Boom Diwan, an Afro Khaleeji music collective featuring pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, the first South African signed to the legendary US jazz music label Blue Note Records. Their compositions take Kuwaiti traditional pearl diving anthems and inject them with jazz.

Also on the programme is Manifold – A Festival of Musical Diversity.

Running on Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13, the event is home to contemporary music and features Italian concert pianist Emanuele Arciuli.

An intimate theatre experience

Dance lovers are also catered for with Ahuti by The Nrityagram Dance Ensemble. Pre-recorded in Bangalore, India, the performance will be streamed on Wednesday, February 17 with a live preview featuring cast members held the the day before.

More micro-online theatre is also on the way.

The US company Theatre for One will present Here We Are, a single audience production where a live actor delivers a powerful account of the current times, ranging from the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter global movement. The shows run from Wednesday, April 7 to Sunday, April 11.

Also returning for another round of performances is the spoken word series Rooftop Rhythms, with its ninth iteration kicking off on Friday, January 22.

The contemporary Arab films series CinemaNa will resume monthly screenings from Monday, February 8 with diverse films from the region, followed by live discussions with the talent.

Included in the series is Nagafa by Emirati director Abdulrahman Al Madani on Monday March 8 and Gaza Mon Amour, by Palestinian filmmakers Arab and Tarzan Nasser on Monday, April 19.

Shows for the times

The new shows form the second half of NYUAD Arts Centre's sixth season. Beginning last September, the online-only series featured performances by Canadian DJ and producer Kid Koala, a piano recital by Greek virtuoso Ioannis Potamousis and experimental micro-theatre performances by US company 600 Highwaymen.

NYUAD Arts Centre artistic director Bill Bragin said the expanded line-up will continue to underscore the challenging times we are presently in.

“We live in an interconnected, online world where we need the arts more than ever before,” he said. “The rich, diverse and exciting international cast of artists speak to the challenging times we are living through, but also transcend the moment to provide a joyful, life-affirming sense of possibility and freedom.”

For the full list of shows, go to www.nyuad-artscenter.org