One of the positives to come out of the global pandemic is a move to digital in the arts world. As exhibitions, film festivals and major art fairs go virtual, culture lovers staying at home in the UAE have never had so many entertainment options to sort through.
Now, we have another one, as Marquee TV has officially launched in the UAE, offering on-demand streaming of performances from the Royal Opera House, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Royal Shakespeare Company and more.
What is Marquee TV?
The streaming platform originally launched in 2018, serving up a catalogue of contemporary and classic masterpieces, spanning dance, opera, music, theatre and documentary.
It was designed for a growing digital audience of arts enthusiasts, who had been historically underserved by other platforms.
The network features hours of content, including exclusive titles, behind-the-scenes snippets, early releases and directors’ cuts.
You can stream the content in a number of ways: on your flat screen through Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV; via your mobile phone, as the platform is available on both iOS and Android; or straight from its website, where you can also manage your subscription and buy gift cards.
“After successful launches in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, we’re thrilled to bring Marquee TV to the UAE, giving customers access to premier multi-genre performing arts content that is not available on any other platform,” said Simon Walker, the platform’s co-founder and chief executive.
To subscribe in the UAE, it costs Dh29.99 per month or Dh299.99 per year. At the moment, there’s a deal of 30 per cent off on annual subscriptions (Dh209.99) for your first year, plus new subscribers get the first 14 days of access for free.
What shows can you watch?
Programming includes globally acclaimed productions, from Bolshoi Ballet's Sleeping Beauty, featuring Svetlana Zakharova and David Hallberg, to Royal Shakespeare Company's Richard II, starring David Tennant.
The UAE audience can also access the Akram Khan Collection, including Giselle, Sacred Monsters, Zero Degrees and The Six Seasons.
Every Saturday, a new release also premieres on the platform.
Here are some we still have to look forward to this month:
'Mayerling' by Royal Opera House (The Royal Ballet)
Saturday, June 13
Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet is inspired by true events and widely believed to be one of the choreographer’s finest works. It’s a production that tells of dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigues through daring, legendary dance moves. This iteration is The Royal Ballet’s most recent staging from the Autumn 2018 / 2019 season.
'Cendrillon' (Cinderella) by Glyndebourne
This operatic fairy tale looks to Charles Perrault’s original story of the sweet-natured girl who lives the life of a servant with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. Transformed by a fairy godmother overnight, she heads to the royal ball to capture the heart of a prince. This contemporary staging led by top stars from Glyndebourne, the opera house in East Sussex, combines the enchanting love story with burlesque comedy and beautiful music from Jules Massenet.
'Ibsen’s Ghosts' by the Norwegian National Ballet
This iteration of Henrik Ibsen's drama Ghosts is a psychological thriller told through evocative modern dance by talents of the Norwegian National Ballet. Protagonist Oswald Alving returns to small-town Norway after living a bohemian existence in Paris, France. Back home, he uncovers mysterious family secrets, as well as some of his own.
More information is at www.marquee.tv