ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

Marhaba 2020! Good news: With the new year comes a wealth of happenings all over the Emirates. Even better news: Your friends at The Huntr have searched far and wide to provide you with a specially-curated guide to the first month of the new decade – from musical adaptations of classic novels to the return of an iconic community festival in Al Quoz and much more, there’s something for everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Get your art and culture fix and start the new year right…

Note: We will keep this guide regularly updated with any confirmed events as the month gets underway, stay tuned.


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

SUKHISHVILI GEORGIAN NATIONAL BALLET MAKES ITS UAE DEBUT AT THE DUBAI OPERA, JANUARY 3RD AND 4TH

2020 will see the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet’s first Dubai performance. The internationally-acclaimed company combines traditional dances and costumes from the varying social backgrounds and diverse regions in Georgia in an effort to embody the “richness of their culture, an exotic mixture of East and West.”

Since its foundation in 1944, the National Ballet has graced the stages at the Albert Hall, the Coliseum, the Metropolitan Opera, Madison Square Garden, and perhaps most famously La Scala – reportedly making them the first and only folklore group to perform on its stage. The lively integration of “folk-inspired traditional dance, graceful balletic pieces and thrilling acrobatics” make the company as magnetic and breathtaking as it has ever been.

When: January 3rd and 4th

Where: Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

EXPLORE FREEDOM AND ITS LIMITATIONS WITH A CONTEMPORARY DANCE PERFORMANCE, JANUARY 10TH AND 11TH

“Where does freedom within limitations lie?” International dance theatre company Aura aims to extrapolate upon notions of freedom with its latest contemporary dance performance, Game Changer

The performance underscores its themes through the use of costumes and movement; “dancers cope with limited possibilities of movement, restricted by their costumes.” The costumes are representative of conditioned societal values, with the dancers embodying the human spirit and its unwavering desire for freedom.

When: January 10th and 11th

Where: Concrete, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

CINEMA AKIL & WAREHOUSE421’S ARABS AND THE CITY SERIES RETURNS WITH A NEW DOUBLE-FEATURE, JANUARY 15TH

Warehouse421, in collaboration with Cinema Akil, continues its unique lineup of films revolving around the “Arab experience with the city.”

After making the rounds at a variety of international short film festivals, French-Morroccan short film Roujoula will make its UAE debut at Warehouse421 this January. The film explores sibling dynamics, following a “DVD-seller on the streets of Casablanca [who] recruits his younger brother in a drive to collect enough money to buy a sacrificial sheep for Eid al-Adha.”

Egyptian drama film, EXT Night concludes the double feature. The film, which made its international debut at TIFF, follows an aspiring filmmaker amid an existential crisis. He decides to take a taxi ride through Cairo to gain some perspective and open his eyes to a novel side of the city. 

When: January 15th

Where: Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Street Samrayr, Abu Dhabi

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

BROKEN WINGS PREMIERES AT THE DUBAI OPERA, JANUARY 17TH AND 18TH

This January, don’t miss out on a chance to experience the autobiographical love story of renowned Lebanese author Khalil Gibran performed onstage at the Dubai Opera. The musical adaptation of Gibran’s poetic novel weaves a tragic tale of love and loss, against the backdrop of Beirut at the turn of the 20th century.

The events of Broken Wings highlight themes relevant to the era that nonetheless, remain pertinent over a century later; “the fight for gender equality, the freedom to love who we love, tradition versus modernity, wealth versus happiness, immigration and the importance of ‘home’.”

When: January 17th and 18th

Where: Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

WAREHOUSE421’S ART & CINEMA SERIES PLACES THE SPOTLIGHT ON GERMAN VISUAL ARTIST GERHARD RICHTER, JANUARY 22ND

Last year Abu Dhabi arts and culture hub Warehouse421 launched a programme of films revolving around the lives of artists in its Art & Cinema Series. The 2020 edition of the series premieres with a focus on Gerhard Richter, widely regarded as one of the most influential contemporary German artists, whose works have famously set record prices at auctions.

The documentary short, entitled Gerhard Richter Painting, is “a thrilling document of Richter’s creative process, juxtaposed with intimate conversations (with his critics, his collaborators, and his American gallerist Marian Goodman) and rare archive material […] This mesmerising footage, of a highly charged process of creation and destruction, turns Belz’s portrait of an artist into a work of art itself.”

When: January 22nd

Where: Warehouse421, Mina Zayed, Street Samrayr, Abu Dhabi

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020
Image courtesy of anne-tournie.com/

SEE ‘LE PETIT PRINCE’ COME TO LIFE AT DUBAI OPERA, JANUARY 23RD AND 25TH

Looking for some family fun and entertainment to carry you into the new year? Look no further than the musical adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s poignant children’s tale, Le Petit Prince show at the Dubai Opera on the 23rd and 24th of January.

Adapted by Chris Mouron and choreographed by Anne Tournié, the musical tells the tale of a “young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss.” Audiences can expect a touching journey featuring stunning sets, colourful costumes, impressive video mapping technology, and spectacular acrobatics feats.

When: January 23rd and January 25th

Where: Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE RETURN OF THE QUOZ ARTS FEST, JANUARY 24TH TO 25TH

The eagerly anticipated Quoz Arts Fest returns to Alserkal Avenue at the end of January. Operating under the theme of “In Search of…” the 2020 edition will offer an assortment of art exhibitions, live performances, food trucks, eclectic installations, film screenings, and much more.

Keep an eye on The Huntr Instagram account for live coverage of the Quoz Arts Fest must-sees.

When: January 24th to January 25th

Where: Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai

Find out more here


EXPERIENCE NOSTALGIA AT ‘THE RED PALACE’, JANUARY 26TH TO MARCH 28TH

This January, The Red Palace, an exhibition by Saudi Arabian artist Sultan bin Fahad, will travel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi’s own Cultural Foundation. The exhibition draws inspiration from the “historical 20th century ‘Red Palace’ and its role within Saudi Arabia’s key historical and political events of that era.”

The sculptures and installations were created by memorabilia, relics, and various discarded objects collected by the artist for their ability to evoke the “transformative potential of the ruin to stand in for what was lost and its reformulation within the country’s social metamorphosis.” The showcase consists of six chapters that guide the visitor through the various rooms and corridors of the palace.

When: January 26th to March 28th

Where: Cultural Foundation, Du Arena, Abu Dhabi

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

BRIDGE BORDERS WITH THE CULTURAL FOUNDATION’S ‘COMMON GROUND’ EXHIBITION, JANUARY 26TH TO MARCH 28TH

Inspired by the aforementioned Red Palace exhibition, Common Ground, a simultaneous exhibition at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, intends to reflect upon the common ground that is shared between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a way that is contemporary and “speaks to the younger generations.”

Participating artists include: Ahmad Saeed Al Areef Al Dhaheri, Amna Al Memari, Ghanem Younes, Khalid Al Tamimi, Maha Al Hammadi, Maryam Al Suwaidi, Mattia Gambardella, Renad Hussein, Roudha Al Shamsi, Saoud Al Dhaheri, Sarah Aladayleh, Shamsa Al Omaira and Wafa Al Qasaimi.

When: January 26th to March 28th

Where: Cultural Foundation, Du Arena, Abu Dhabi

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

ENJOY AN EVENING OF BACH’S CONCERTOS WITH ABU DHABI CLASSICS, JANUARY 28TH TO FEBRUARY 7TH

Abu Dhabi Classics is gearing up for its ninth season and is set to premiere a dynamic programme of classical and traditional music in the UAE capital. The new season will launch with David Fray and Friends as they perform Bach’s concertos along with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra.

This world-renowned programme, aptly named Bach’s Concertos for Two, Three, and Four Pianos, features arrangements with up to four pianos being played at the same time. Their innovative interpretation of Bach’s classic concertos “has become one of the most admired classical music concerts [in recent years].”

When: January 28th to February 7th

Where: Cultural Foundation, Du Arena, Abu Dhabi

Find out more here


ART & CULTURE GUIDE: THE BEST THINGS HAPPENING IN THE UAE THIS JANUARY 2020

INDIA’S FIRST BROADWAY-STYLE MUSICAL RETURNS TO THE DUBAI OPERA, JANUARY 30TH TO FEBRUARY 1ST

The end of the month will see the return of the Mughal-e-Azam musical, famously based on the 1960’s Bollywood romance of the same name. The show is India’s first highly successful, large-scale Broadway-style musical.

Set during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar, Mughal-E-Azam tells the tragic tale of prince Salim, who falls in love with Anarkali, a dancer in his father’s court. The emperor does not approve and does everything in his power to keep the unlikely couple apart.

“The stage version is mostly faithful to the K. Asif classic, complete with lavish sets, colourful costumes, flowery verses, soulful music, brilliantly choreographed dance sequences.”

When: January 30th to February 1st

Where: Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai

Find out more here


Compiled by Mila Zafirovic exclusively for The Huntr