Continuing the tradition of presenting the world's greatest ballet companies, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2014, created by the Abu Dhabi Music '&' Arts Foundation (ADMAF), welcomed yesterday the American Ballet Theatre for their first-ever performance of ‘Coppelia' in the Arab region. Dancing on stage at the Emirates Palace Auditorium, American Ballet Theatre performed a magical, colourful and enchanting story ballet that delighted the many families that made up the Abu Dhabi audience. Regarded as America's National Ballet Company , American Ballet Theatre makes their Arab World debut as the Abu Dhabi Festival recognises the United States of America as its 2014 Country of Honour. Following the performance, Hoda I. Al Khamis - Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music '&' Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the Abu Dhabi Festival, said, "One of the leading classical ballet companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre was a wonder to behold. Most importantly, it is the type of performance that inspires Middle Eastern audiences to realise why the theatre is such a magical place, and why dance is not a luxury or a frill, but a necessity of life. "Dance, like music, like art, like theatre, forms the soul of a human's imagination. Without its expression and curiosity, creative exploration and innovative discovery, we would not be able to think outside the box and create a better future. The UAE youth have the opportunity to take this country into a positive new era and I hope that exposure to the arts - through events like tonight - will help them in their exciting journey." Lasting approximately 2 and half hours, American Ballet Theatre performed Coppelia in three acts, with original staging by Arthur Saint-Leon, direction from Frederic Franklin, with music by Leo Delibes, and scenery by Tony Straiges, costume design by Patricia Zipprodt and lighting by Brad Fields.