Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 presents groundbreaking contemporary dance production ‘PUSH’

Press release
Published March 24th, 2011 - 10:53 GMT
PUSH performance at  Abu Dhabi Festival 2011
PUSH performance at Abu Dhabi Festival 2011

Making its first appearance on the Abu Dhabi Festival programme, contemporary dance captivated the audience at the Emirates Palace last night with the critically acclaimed production PUSH. Produced by Sadler’s Wells London, in collaboration with Russell Maliphant and Sylvie Guillem, PUSH is considered to be one of the most breathtaking and innovative performances of recent times.

Hosted under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011 organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), the performance underscored the ongoing commitment to breaking new ground and showcasing the true diversity of the arts during the annual Festival. 

Speaking ahead of the performance, Sylvie Guillem said: “I am happy to be in Abu Dhabi for the first time. I’m impatient to see the reaction of the public and to see how they respond to PUSH.” On working with Russell Maliphant, she said: [Russell’s] way of building choreography is like writing a poem, and this is why I like working with him.”

Speaking directly after the performance, Artistic Director and Founder of the Abu Dhabi Festival, Her Excellency Mrs. Hoda I Al Khamis Kanoo, commented: “It is extremely exciting to introduce contemporary dance to the Festival for the very first time this year, which reinforces our commitment to showcasing the world’s brightest and most innovative performers as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival. It is my great pleasure to welcome Russell and Sylvie to participate this year. Performers at the very top of their profession, this beautiful production enthralled the audience and conveyed the diversity of artistic expression and interpretation that exists across the world.” 

A production in four distinct parts, PUSH opened with a solo performance by Sylvie Guillem, universally recognised as the greatest ballerina of her time, entitled Solo. A solo by Russell Maliphant, the Olivier Award-winning choreographer and dancer performed Shift before Guillem returned to the stage for a second solo in the piece Two. The performance culminated with the fabulous duet PUSH, performed by both Guillem and Maliphant.

First premiered at the world famous Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, in 2005, PUSH is a hypnotic fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance. The dialogue between the dancers is supported by the beguiling use of music (Carlos Montoya) and lighting (by acclaimed lighting designer Michael Hulls), placing new emphasis on the movements of the dancers.

Tickets for the remaining performances can be purchased via www.timeouttickets.com or through the Emirates Palace book office. For further information about the Abu Dhabi Festival, please visit www.abudhabifestival.ae or call the information hotline on 050 907 6158.

Background Information

Abu Dhabi Festival

Abu Dhabi Festival is organized by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The Festival is the UAE's foremost celebration of art and culture bringing together the greatest musicians, performers and artists from both the East and West in the heart of the United Arab Emirates. It seeks to reflect the determination of the capital to take the lead in cultural understanding.

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Through arts education, community arts and special projects, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has been nurturing creativity across the UAE for more than two decades. Since its establishment by Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo in 1996, it has been at the forefront of the UAE’s arts sector, inspiring young people, the public and artists, enabling creative expression through a wide range of programmes and projects. By bringing together audiences and institutions, the Foundation has helped embed arts and culture in the heart of the nation.

It seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision, motivated by the belief that culture is the key that unlocks a nation’s creativity and the language that transcends borders. Culture is the anchor that unites a nation and ADMAF undertakes a broad range of initiatives and events each year to bring together diverse audiences in the UAE and internationally. As well as fostering close communities and cross-cultural dialogues, the Foundation also recognises the fundamental right for every person, regardless of age or ability, to access, understand and appreciate cultural expression.

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