Running under the slogan ‘Manama Capital of Joy’ the festival is a month-long programme of events, activities and edutainment running in Nakhool City, a specially constructed space in the exhibition centre hosted by Nakhool, a character symbolising Bahrain’s tradition, culture and Dilmunic history. And, of course, we’ve got the lowdown.
June 14-July 15
Nakhool City There’ll be a variety of activities taking place indoors at BIECC Hall 1 and next to the stage performance area of the festival.
Running from 2pm-7pm, aimed mainly at kids and free for all, these will revolve around workshops in photography, puppetry and arts and dance.
There’ll also be a music programme for youngsters, educational programmes such as Mad Science and daily games such as car racing, wall climbing, painting and drawing.
According to US entertainment magazine Variety: “Snowshow is to clowning what Cirque du Soleil is to circus. Slava’s Snowshow is as theatrical as it is simple, as involving as it is inspiring.”
Since its creation by renowned Russian clown Slava Polunin in 1993, Slava’s Snowshow has played to more than three million people in more than 30 countries and 120 cities including New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.
The show has garnered worldwide popular and critical acclaim, as well as a growing number of awards including a Tony nomination in the US and Time Out and Olivier awards in the UK.
Slava Polunin created the show following his sensational performance as part of Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria, drawing on the influence of artists such as Charlie Chaplin, Marcel Marceau and Leonid Engibarov.
He and his company of clowns have taken clowning out of the world of circus and brought it into the theatre with a show that is a fusion of traditional and contemporary theatrical clowning arts and a beautifully crafted visual spectacle.
The show brilliantly creates a world of wonderment and fantasy that transports the audience to a joyous dream-like place, where a bed becomes a boat in a storm-tossed sea; a woman is wrapped in cellophane and becomes flowers in a vase; a child walks in amazement inside a bubble; Slava boards a train and then becomes the train, his chimney-pot hat billowing smoke; and a web of unspun cotton envelopes the audience.
The stunning finale sees a letter turn into snowflakes and the flakes turn into a snowstorm, which whirls around the auditorium, leaving the audience ankle-deep in snow.
Slava’s Snowshow promises a not-to-be-missed visual masterpiece loved by children and adults alike
Aeternum By Los Vivancos
The second production by these seven Spanish brothers delves into the paranormal fusing flamenco dance and ballet with the martial arts, tap dancing, magic and visual and dramatic effects.
Los Vivancos have already danced for nearly one million people in almost 30 countries and this show sees them collaborating with Daniele Finzi Pasca the director of the Cirque du Soleil show Corteo.
Combining art and virtuosity, Aeternum boasts original music by Fernando Velázquez and rock, flamenco and classical go hand in hand in a score recorded by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, comprised of more than 100 musicians.
The online reports and images of this look spectacular so we’ll see you there.
Wooden Circus by Karromoto (puppets)
Karromato’s marionette spectacles have delighted audiences in more than 30 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The company draws on the classic traditions of European marionette theater with all its productions speaking directly to the heart without words, using music, universal humour and the unique personality of each and every hand-crafted marionette.
The show promises acrobats, exotic animals, clowns, in fact a full three-ring circus of the imagination full of energy, perfect timing, and surprises which dazzle with secret special effects from classic 19th century European marionette theatre.
The beautiful wooden marionettes and traditional music will take you back in time to the golden age of puppetry possibly invoking old favourite so this will be a hit with kids both young and old.
Karromato was founded in Prague in 1997 by artists from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Spain bringing together their experience from various theatrical backgrounds.
All members of the company share in the productions as puppeteers and builders.
A Turkish flautist Of Arab origin whose Egyptian Arab mother loved Reyad Elsonbaty and taught him to appreciate Arabesque music, Faruk is known for his performances with the ney in a Sufi style and also plays the oud, saz, zurna and sings in many of his recorded work.
A BBC World Music Award nominee for the Middle East he was also awarded the Best Artist of the Turkish Music Award 2003 from the Turkish Writers Association and has clocked up many other international honours in the years since then.
Perhaps one particularly for our Dutch readers, he has performed with Dutch band Blof spending 12 weeks in the charts with the single Mens.
Qusai (aka Don Legend the Kamelion)
Get ready for the first professional rapper from Saudi Arabia. Qusai’s influences are listed as hip-hop, r’n’b and country so this could be a really interesting evening with the performer who’s known as a rapper, singer/songwriter, record producer, television personality, and DJ.
Signed to Dubai-based Platinum Records, Qusai will also be familiar from TV as the co-host of Hip Hop Na on MTV Arabia with hip-hop producer Fredwreck and as a co-host, with Raya Abirached, on MBC4’s regional favourite Arabs Got Talent.
Bahrain’s Arabs got Talent phenom, the young girl who stole the judges’ hearts, comes home to show young performers just what can be achieved with talent and determination.
But remember kids, at two Hala was singing Arabian Nights and at four she won a singing contest.
Even though she didn’t win the TV show, Hala impressed the viewing public who were really moved and surprised to see a girl of just nine belting out the famous songs of Arab divas such as Fairouz or Oum Kalthoum.
She’s now signed with Platinium Records so this could be a great chance to see a young girl who’s tipped for stardom.
The Sound of Music
One of the best-loved and most successful movies in history, The Sound of Music hardly needs any introduction.
In its day it took home five Oscars and the soundtrack stands in history as the best selling musical of all time going Platinum more than 12 times – who among us hasn’t sung along to the likes of Edelweiss and the wonderful title song.
Recalling the touching and dramatic memories of Maria and the Von Trapp family and their struggle to freedom as their homeland of Austria faces up to Nazi conversion, just prior to the Second World War, this critically-acclaimed, award winning (Time Out Dubai Nightlife Awards Best Theatrical Production) show comes direct from two record-breaking sell out runs in Dubai, UAE, and features lavish costumes, a sumptuous set, a wonderful orchestral musical score and a cast of the very best from London’s West End.
We’ll be heading down to rediscover this treat and introducing a new generation to the genius of writers Rodger and Hammerstein.