Every year, Art Dubai presents a curated programme of performances throughout the fair week.
Developed by contemporary art institution, Kunsthalle Lissabon, 2019’s performance programme was a celebration of togetherness and explored the unifying aspects of communal celebrations – dances, processions and festivities – as powerful tools to think about the world around us.
Carnival artist Marlon Griffith (Born in Trinidad Tobago, 1976) 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 staged both a large-scale celebratory procession and a magical play of light and shadow. The performance is a collaboration with the Philippine Business Council-Dubai & the Northern Emirates, the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Filipino Community in Dubai. A Walk into the Night involved 120 performers, as well as music composed by Exekiel Nuñez and costumes in collaboration with Filipino fashion designer Armand Zarris Manapat.
Samson Young’s Muted Situation #2: Muted Lion Dance was a reimagining of the traditional Chinese lion dance, where performers mimic a lion’s movements to bring luck and fortune. In place of the usual percussive music, the dancers performed 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 was forced to reimagine the aural experience of watching this dance.
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.