The NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Centre programme is going virtual.
With the remaining gigs of the performance series scrapped due to the coronavirus, the much loved Abu Dhabi cultural institution is dipping into its archive to present some of the best performances from the last five seasons.
Running under the name of Reconnect, the online performances series – ranging from stand-up comedy to dance and music – aims to encapsulate the creativity and expression responsible for the centre’s success.
These shows haven’t been seen online yet. With the centre known for live streaming its performances, artistic director Bill Bragin has chosen gigs that have not been seen outside of the centre.
“We want the events to have a sense of occasion around them," he says. "We will be looking at other events in our archives that also really represents the vision and breadth of what the arts centre does."
Here are the first batch of online performances announced.
Wednesday, April 1 at 8pm: Maysoon Zayid
The series kicks off with a 2017 performance by Maysoon Zayid. The Palestinian-American and disability advocate has established herself as fierce comic and has appeared on Oprah Winfrey. She also delivered a viral Ted Talk in 2014 and is the co-founder of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. After the show, Zayid will appear for a live streamed Q&A session where she will expound further on her career.
"One of the things that is really exciting is that Maysoon was really game to watch along with us. She offered the idea that she can do a post-event Q&A,” Bragin says. “This really helps echo what we in the arts centre do when we have artists in person, which is to offer people the opportunity to see an artists behind the scene.”
Wednesday, April 8 at 8pm: 47Soul
Make some place in your living room and prepare to dance along to the grooves of the brilliant 47Soul. Relive the Palestinian group’s sold out show, as part of the 2018 Barzakh Festival and savour their regional blend of electro grooves. This is dance music with a purpose, as 47Soul deliver storming Dabke hoedowns paired with socially conscious lyrics highlighting the plight of refugees.
Wednesday April 15, 8pm: Cuban Khaleeji Project
Revisit one of the last shows performed at the arts centre. This concert, performed live in February, is an evocative journey into the Mena region’s musical past and present. Watch US pianist and composer, Arturo O’Farrill, lead his 18 piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra as they weave a musical tapestry linking the sea-faring songs of the Gulf to the propulsive rhythms of North Africa and Cuba.
More information is available on the NYU arts centre website: www.nyu-artscenter.org