ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 25th Nov, 2020) The world-renowned artistic director who has designed a spectacular live production to commemorate the UAE’s 49th National Day, has revealed how she has been immersing herself in Emirati culture and working with a team of talented Emirati creatives to see the creative vision being brought to life.
Es Devlin told how she was impressed by the rich history and culture of the Emirates as well as the country’s natural beauty.
Full details of the show – which will be held on December 2 and broadcast live to millions around the world – are being kept secret, though organisers have said the awe-inspiring mangroves that flourish along huge parts of the UAE coastline have been a key part of the visual inspiration.
Devlin, who is known for creating large-scale performative sculptures and environments that fuse music, language, and light, said a central feature will be "an illuminated rotating sculpture surrounded by sea."
Devlin, who famously designed the closing ceremony for the London 2012 Summer Olympics and the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, said: "My first encounter with Abu Dhabi and UAE culture was simultaneously through the World EXPO teams and the 49th National Day teams, who took me on a remarkable tour of all seven Emirates, encountering experts in all aspects of UAE culture and history, as well as experiencing the rich geographical diversity of the Emirates.
"I have been greatly impressed by the brilliant, determined, and creative Emirati women on the team. Honestly, as a newcomer to Emirati culture I had not anticipated the predominance of female voices within the creative teams and it’s been a real joy to interweave the voices of my predominantly female design team, with the voices of very creative Emirati women."
She has spent a lot of time studying the aesthetics of the mangrove forests off the UAE coastline: " We wanted to give nature a foreground role and present it as a protagonist in the show. Our vision was to find a metaphor to express the incredible journey the UAE has taken in the last 49 years; like the growth and transformation of a seed into a shoot and then finally into full bloom. The mangroves have also provided a real source of inspiration for the metaphor, with its deep connection to the UAE’s history and traditions." she said.
Accompanying the live performance will be a tribute to the UAE’s Founding Fathers, highlighting the achievements of the union.
Devlin added: "The pandemic presented us with an opportunity to approach the 49th National Day Show in a new way. In this setting where nature presides, we invoke Sheikh Zayed's vision for the country's future."
National Day is the annual celebration of the UAE’s formation on December 2, 1971. As the UAE’s official annual event, National Day brings together a multitude of nationalities in united celebration of inclusivity and tolerance.
In line with the UAE’s precautionary and preventive measures, the Committee follows the highest standards of health and safety to ensure everyone taking part is safe. This includes a COVID-19 testing policy for all teams and cast members involved in the show, and supports the decision of emphasizing the tv broadcast in place of live public attendance.