The performance programme for the 2019 edition of Art Dubai, developed by contemporary art institution Kunsthalle Lissabon, is a celebration of togetherness.

Through a series of performances taking place during the fair, it explores the unifying aspects of people gatherings, such as dances, processions and festivities. These kinds of communal celebrations are not only a chance to have fun, but they are also powerful tools to think about the world around us. Through bright colour, engaging movement and music, the spectator and participator join in the moment to let go and enjoy themselves, whilst also experiencing a new way of understanding.

Samson Young, Muted Situation #2: Muted Lion Dance, 2014, instruction score, video. Image courtesy the artist. Photo Credit: Dennis Man Wing Leung.


Carnival artist Marlon Griffith (Born in Trinidad Tobago, 1976) has developed a version of his A Walk into the Night specifically for Art Dubai. Taking the aesthetics of Trinidadian carnivals and West African shadow puppets as a starting point, the piece stages both a large-scale celebratory procession and a magical play of light and shadow that will enact several narratives associated with the recent history of Dubai. The performance is a collaboration with the Filipino community in Dubai, involving 150 performers as well as music composed by a local musician, and will travel through the fair with visitors invited to join in.


Samson Young (Born in Hong Kong, 1979) is an artist primarily working in the medium of sound performance. In his Muted Situation #2: Muted Lion Dance, Young reimagines the traditional Chinese lion dance, whereby performers mimic a lion’s movements to bring luck and fortune. In place of the usual percussive music, the dancers will perform to a soundtrack made of unusual sounds such as the intense breathing of the performers, rattling of the lion costume, and the stomping of the feet. With this, the audience is forced to reimagine the aural experience of watching this dance. Muted Lion Dance is part of larger body of work in which the artist proposes a series of sonic situations.

Kunsthalle Lissabon

Kunsthalle Lissabon is a contemporary art institution located in Lisbon, Portugal. Founded in 2009 by curators João Mourão and Luís Silva, it celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with a series of collaborative projects with several international partners. A selection of exhibitions presented by the institution includes solos by Iman Issa, Mounira Al Solh, Marwa Arsanios and Ahmet Ogut.