– Directed and choreographed by Bartabas, a performance by National Equestrian academy of Versailles –
As part of the diverse array of events offered throughout the Emirati-French Cultural Programme, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the French Embassy and the Institut français present an impressive equestrian performance. Choreographed by renowned director Bartabas, the show features horsemen and horses from the prestigious National Equestrian Academy of Versailles and will take place in the ancient Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain. Presenting a unique equestrian choreography comprising 30 horses and fusing classical dressage, dance, fencing, poetry and music, the show will be performed in a purpose-built arena housed inside the iconic fort’s internal courtyard.
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “This series of shows, reflected in an equestrian choreography by a true master of equestrian art, in the iconic venue of Al Jahili Fort is another milestone of our Emirati-French Cultural programme. The previous events of the programme included contemporary art commissions, theatrical performances and musical performance and have been created to celebrate the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and to foster an environment of mutual artistic exchange, dialogue on creativity and innovative experiences in all forms of art: performing and visual arts.”
Bartabas, a pioneer of combining equestrian art, music, choreography and acting, has invented and directed with tact, and artistic aesthetics, a new form of performing arts with Zingaro Equestrian Theatre since 1984. His numerous creations have previously been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Moscow and all around the world.
Alongside, focusing on artistic transmission, Bartabas founded the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles in 2003, inside the Royal Stables of the Palace of Versailles, which went on to perform numerous shows globally. The originality of this equestrian choreographic school-company is the transmission of equestrian knowledge and practice of other disciplines such as fencing, dance, singing and Kyudo (traditional Japanese archery).
H.E Michel Miraillet, Ambassador of France to the United Arab Emirates commented: In 2011, UNESCO inscribed “Equestrian Art in the French tradition” on the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. France is proud to present the National Equestrian Academy of Versailles, which is in direct line with this French tradition of horse training, and echoes a shared passion with the UAE. This tradition will be encountering in March the Emirati long-lasting relationship with horses, for an exceptional show in the heart of the Emirati nation. France and the UAE are both utterly committed to culture as a way to lead to peace and harmony. The Emirati-French Cultural Programme dedicated to the celebration of the upcoming Louvre Abu Dhabi, has been thought out as a way to strengthen our relationship by presenting common passion and values to the public living in the UAE and across its borders.”
The choreography comprises of more than 15 scenes punctuated by poetry. The texts from 20th century writers such as Pierre Boulez, and Nuño Oliveira – a Spanish horse trainer that inspired riders and trainers all over the world – evokes the relationships between humanity and horses. The texts invite the spectators not to conceive horsing as a science but as a journey of meditation, harmony and emotions. Very well-known partitions from Johann Sebastian Bach (Suites for Cellos), from Monteverdi (Salve Regina), from Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring) accompanies most of the scenes. A solo of Bartabas with Oud players will echo the regional musical repertoire.