The Leading Edge: Music and art that pushes the boundaries

We meet Bill Bragin, artistic director of NYUAD Arts Centre to find out more about the leading edge and the centre's spring programme.

Bill Bragin, Artistic director at NYUAD Arts Centre, is constantly looking for work that pushes boundaries. He makes sure that the art the centre brings to the UAE is not mainstream. "I like to be on the leading edge," Bragin says. But what is the leading edge? How is it defined and how does it affect the mainstream? Host Razmig Bedirian, culture writer at The National, meets Bragin to find out more about the spring programme at the NYUAD Arts Centre.

The duo are then joined by Egyptian musician Fathy Salama, who was the first Arab to win a Grammy, for his take on art and recognition. “Good art, I think,” Salama says, “comes from belief.

Robert Swinston, director of choreography and trustee of the Merce Cunningham Trust, then joins the show. Merce founded a style of dance that has no narrative structure. Something that was not easy for audiences to accept in the 1960s and still challenges audiences now. He talks about the 1950s, a time when artists had moved into abstraction in other fields but not in dance.

Finally, Kaki King, an American guitarist and sole woman on Rolling Stones magazine's list of new guitar greats, comes on the show to shed light onto what pushes her creativity.


Listen to last week's episode about the artist and the audience