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Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors to the public

Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, welcomed the first excited visitors at the museum.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab world, finally opened its doors to the public on Saturday. The opening celebration certainly did not disappoint them, as the historic moment was marked by colourful, cultural events and performances.

On Saturday morning, hundreds of people from all over the UAE descended on Saadiyat Island hoping to get in early before the madness began.

The lineup of different cultural celebrations, reflected on the vision of what the museum actually stands for united people from all walks of life, uniting the cultures and nationalities and bringing them together as one – just as the museum has brought together treasured artwork from every corner of our world.

Just as the doors were opening, a traditional UAE performance, ‘Al Ayyala,’ by Mubarak Al Otaiba’s group, gave a special taste of the nation’s unique culture and heritage to the visitors. Al Ayyala, which has been recognised by Unesco as a Living Intangible Heritage since 2014, is often performed at national events, festive occasions and weddings across the UAE.

On the eve of the opening day, French pyrotechnic wizards Groupe F performed a jaw-dropping audio-visual light show titled   Museum Reflections. The dramatic and innovative show took the audience on a voyage of discovery in four parts: from the depths of the water to the surface of the sea, onto the ground, and finally up into the skies.

Crowds watched, as each act revealed masterpieces from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection, which were stunningly projected across the building under an incredible firework display that lit up the night sky of the UAE Capital.

Meanwhile, throughout Saturday, Lucinda Childs, a major figure in contemporary dance, surprised visitors with her incredible dance moves, which she performed inside the galleries. The artiste gave visitors a glimpse of a performance that reflected on the notion of space and time overpowering all other elements.

During the afternoon, a Dogon masked dance by Awa Troupe of Sangha, took place inside the museum. Hundreds of visitors watched, as the men from Mali led a parade, accompanied by drummers and musicians. Even children that were visiting the museum took part with the 15 West African dancers, and showed off their acrobatic dance moves to the crowds, who just about all had their cameras out, capturing moments of culture before their eyes.

Another traditional performance took place around the plaza – this time, showcasing Chinese parade of lions and dragons. A whirlwind of colourful energy and noise sprung around the museum, as two popular Chinese dances were performed by the troupe of Zhejiang Wu Opera Research Centre.

Before the evening took over and the finest Korean ensembles impressed some more crowds, a soothing performance by Emirati composer and musician, Faisal Al Saari. The self-taught artist’s harmonic instrumental play did not distract audiences as they gazed over the pieces in the galleries, but rather, gave an unexplained ambiguity that somehow worked beautifully and hand-in-hand with the treasured artworks.

Louvre Abu Dhabi has already brought the world in one place, without-a-doubt proved that although the East and West may not all share the same life – they still share the same world. And as the sun went down, and an airy night awakened, there was perhaps one performance that continued to impress Louvre Abu Dhabi’s visitors. A performance that had no sound, had no dance, and no effort, a solo performer – Jean Nouvel’s magnificent ‘Rain of Light.’

Source : khaleejtimes

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