The 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival will return to the capital from April 3 to April 30, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) announced on Tuesday.
The month-long programme which focuses on arts, theatre, music and cultural heritage, will include a series of free events across the UAE in celebration of ADMAF's 20th anniversary.
The Abu Dhabi Festival 2016, ADF16, will include some of the world's biggest classical artists such as pianist Lang Lang and ballet dancer Carlos Acosta.
The festival will honour artistic excellence of France with a number of performances by French artists, including, French singers Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri and France's premiere symphony orchestra, Orchestre de Paris.
The festival will be inaugurated with the exhibition "Portrait of a Nation” at Emirates Palace. The exhibition, to run from April 10 to May 10, includes 20 commissioned works of art and over 100 loaned pieces — all by Emirati artists at The Gallery to commemorate ADMAF's 20th anniversary.
The announcements were made at Emirates Palace, home of Abu Dhabi Festival, and was attended by Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and the Abu Dhabi Festival, Nasser Abdullah, chair of the Emirates Fine Arts Society (EFAS) and Michel Miraillet, the Ambassador of France.
"As I look back on our 20 years, I can see that ADMAF has always been about humanity, the deep bonds we share and the ties that create unity and celebrate diversity,” Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo said.
"Humanity is always developing, always innovating, and as part of this, ADMAF has a commitment to bring the best of the world to Abu Dhabi, and in turn take the best of Abu Dhabi to the world. It is our pledge to humanity, and our pledge to culture. Let us commit again, as a society, as a country, as a people — to culture. ADF 2016 will strive to make culture accessible to more and more people across the Seven Emirates, across the Arab World and beyond.”
She also stressed the importance of the audience involvement for the growth of the festival, and for arts and culture.
"Our renewed pledge for culture can only make sense if we have a committed audience. And so we invite all of the people who feel as we do, to make their own pledge for culture. Breath vitality into it, in any way you see fit and tell us about it.”
Commenting on France being named as ADF16's Country of Honour, Miraillet said: "Since its creation in 2004 by ADMAF, Abu Dhabi Festival has become a key element of the emirate's cultural landscape. Year after year, bringing the best artists to Abu Dhabi, commissioning original projects, fostering cultural expression, this "symphony of cultures” makes quite a valuable contribution to the community.”
Two concerts by Nick Lloyd Webber and James D. Reid based on their new musical, The Little Princeto, to be held on April 21 and 22, were also announced.
An exciting programme of dance on April 25 and 26 by Carlos Acosta and Friends, a Cuban-born ballet dancer and a company of world-class dancers will bring the festival to an end.
Further information on tickets, schedules, venues and performances can be found on the Festival website www.abudhabifestival.ae
Source: Gulf News