Music, dance, art, the ninth edition of Spring of Culture has it all
Time Out Bahrain staff
Spring of Culture is back with events happening across the island from art exhibitions to talks and music. Details were still to be formally announced as we went to press but, hey, we got a sneak peak at what’s coming up from the Ministry of Culture.
March 5 Ramsey Lewis & Philip Bailey Arad Fort It’s a double Grammy whammy from the Economic Development Board (EDB) with two multi-Grammy-winning talents taking to the stage for a night of smooth jazz and R&B. March 6 José Carreras Live Bahrain National Theatre
This opera legend, best known for his work alongside Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti as the Three Tenors, has a golden voice that keeps audiences mesmerized. He’s considered one of the most important opera singers of the latter half of the 20th century offering moving renditions of timeless masterpieces on stage and with his best-selling albums.
March 7-9 The Child and The Magic Spells Cultural Hall
A magical musical/operatic tale following the journey of how a naughty child, who never listened to his mum, learned to be a caring kid. Featuring fun song and dance numbers and a large, colourful cast of animals and animated objects, this enlightening family-friendly play teaches youngsters how their actions and decisions can affect others.
Guitar legend Eric Clapton has been entertaining music lovers the world over for more than 50 years. Ranked second only to Jimi Hendrix in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, he’s best known for hits such as ‘Layla’, ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Tears in Heaven’ written on the death of his young son Conor in 1991. The EDB is bringing him to the island for a one-off performance that promises to be one of the musical highlights of the year.
March 12 Vienna Boys’ Choir Cultural Hall
The Austrian capital’s youngest ambassadors travel the world giving more than 300 concerts each year performing in front of almost half a million people across Europe, Asia, America and Australia. There are around 100 choristers, aged ten to 14, and the voices are trebles and altos. They sing both traditional and modern compositions and have worked with some of the world’s premier composers.
March 14 Mohammed Abdo Arad Fort The Saudi-born Arabic favourite brings a very local taste to the festival with a performance that will delight both Bahrainis and expats alike. A great introduction to traditional Arabic music if you haven’t heard much of it before.
March 15-16 Private Conversation in Public Places Muharraq, Block 209, near the House of Coffee A two-day programme of presentations and conversations gathering a number of regional and international architects, artists and writers around the topic of public practices and the design of public places. Talks will be held outdoors at the first two squares of the old city of Muharraq.
March 26-28 Gibran Cultural Hall Based on the story of the life and times of Gibran Khalil Gibran the Arab thinker and visionary whose legacy continues to inspire people globally. This production artfully combines drama and comedy celebrating the Arab sense of humour and family warmth through the relationship between Gibran and his sister Miryanna as they struggle to survive in America and providing insights into the people and environment which had a profound impact on the poet’s life.
March 27-30 The Very Hungry Caterpillar Alumni Club Eric Carle’s beloved tales are brought to life by Canada’s acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. The Very Hungry Caterpillar munches through an amazing menu to become a beautiful butterfly. Little Cloud’s playful transformations introduce whimsical creatures in the sky. The Mixed-up Chameleon’s visit to the zoo leads to surprise adventures. A family performance not to be missed!
March 28-29 Fire of Anatolia Arad Fort The Fire of Anatolia dance troupe will bring to life the historical myth of Troy in a spectacular live production blending modern dance, ballet, traditional oriental rhythms, folk dances and special effects. With no less than 64 dancers on the stage dressed in gorgeous colourful costumes, every minute bursts with tremendous energy and promises an unforgettable experience for young and old alike.
April 3 Ahmed Gamal Cultural Hall Lovers of classical Egyptian tarab music are in for a treat with the young singer Ahmed Gamal, whose exceptional performances made him one of the breakout stars of the TV talent show ‘Arab Idol’. Known as The Sultan, he didn’t win the show but he did win hearts across the Arab world.
April 2-9 Weaving Colours: The 22nd Annual Bahrain Heritage Festival Bahrain National Museum Launched in 1992, this festival is all about preserving the island’s rich cultural heritage for future generations. This year it focuses of textiles and the traditional costumes of Bahraini men and women (and no, the traditional women’s costume is not black). Held outside you will find a textile exhibition, market, daily Bahraini music, food and specialised workshops as well as having the chance to see some of the kingdom’s finest traditional craftsmen and women at work.
April 5 In Spring (music at the Tree of Life) Tree of Life Marking the official opening of the new Tree of Life visitor centre, a landmark project to transform and protect this uniquely Bahraini cultural asset, this will be a performance of Bahraini folk music set against the spectacular natural backdrop at 6pm as the sun goes down. April 10 Liaoning Ballet Bahrain National Theatre
As part of Chinese Cultural Week, this dance troupe, widely recognised as one of the finest of its kind in China, will be performing a selection of balletic masterpieces with a distinctly Chinese flavour.
April 13 Opening of Bait Al Ghus Pearling Trail Muharraq The newest addition to the Muharraq UNESCO World Heritage site, a traditional house giving an insight into the life of a diver, the first person to make contact with the pearl – the beautiful symbol of Bahrain on which much of the island’s early wealth and trading history was built. April 14 Recreational Purpose Bahrain National Museum
Group photography exhibition featuring the works of Taysir Batniji, Nicène Kossentini, Hrair Sarkissian, Ghada Khonji, Jamal Penjweny, Waheeda Malullah, Eman Ali, Steve Sabella, Haya Al Khalifa, Camille Zakharia and Wed Abduljawad who were invited to Bahrain as part of the Capital of Arab Tourism.
While many of the Spring of Culture events are free, there are some which are ticketed. Sale details had not been released as we went to press so check www.springofculture.org where ticket prices will be posted. Some events are age restricted so please check for further information as some adult events are not open to young children.