Dubomedy set to hold second annual performing arts festival in the UAE

"One stage, One community."

November 9, 2011- Dubai:

Over the course of four days, Wednesday, November 30th – Saturday, December 3th, Dubomedy and VIVA Arts will be throwing the country's second annual Performing Arts Festival. Through this festival, envisioned as an interdisciplinary platform for performing artists, Dubomedy Arts aims to provide opportunities for both amateurs and professionals to hone their craft through workshops and panels during the morning while performing original content for a local audience in the matinee and evening shows. This year's festival has already picked up from its launch last year and will be a host of 12 shows that will feature over 200 performers and will attract an audience of 10,000.

"Nurturing the arts community in Dubai is a cause that is very close to my heart," says Mina Liccione, artistic director of VIVA Arts and head teacher of Dubomedy Arts School. "Ali, the co-founder of Dubomedy Arts School, and I put together this festival to celebrate, educate and bring the community together for four days of the best this region has to offer in performance art. We look forward to watching this festival grow, diversify and best represent the wonderful blend of cultures and artistic voices the region holds."

The festival will be off to a rousing start with a night of comedy and dance. The students of Dubomedy Arts School's NYC tap and body percussion will take to the stage alongside Siobhan's Irish Dancers and the Comedy 101 and Advanced Stand Up students to form an entertaining performance known as "Mix Tape: Stand Up & Dance!". Following the Dubomedy Arts School Showcase will be a performance by the UAE's first and only improvisational comedy troupe, Improv Revolution!

Day 2 of the festival is entitled "Local Theater and Performance Art Night". The evening will showcase the many artistic genres of diverse local groups and solo artists. The Local Theater portion will include seasoned performers of the Dubai Drama Group and the dramatic chops of teens and young adults in the Youth Theatre Works.

The performance art portion will feature Dubomedy's 'From the Page to the Stage' writers, members of The Poeticians, an intermedia spoken word performance by American poet, Nicholas Karavatos, as well as a special performance by Hind Shoufani. Closing out the performance art journey will be "Mehfil-e-Shama", a series of Urdu, Hindustani and Sufiana performances headed by Jamal Iqbal.

Only the night does not end there! An Arabic stand-up comedy show entitled "Comedia 3al Wagef" will be held on The Burj Steps which is an innovative amphitheatre style venue that sweeps down from Burj Khalifa opening to majestic views of The Dubai Fountain. Ideal for concerts, corporate and lifestyle events, The Burj Steps embody opulence and elegance with an awe inspiring back drop of Burj Khalifa. This show will be hosted by Ali Al Sayed, will feature an array of Arab comedians from the region and will be headlined by internationally acclaimed comedian from Egypt, Mohamed Salem.

Day 3 of the festival has a very special treat for all, not only is it the UAE's 40th National Day, but it also presents a unique artistic experience for the residents of Dubai. The day will begin with a special matinee performance of Experimental Theater! Two local experimental troupes have come together to form a double header of visual delight and storytelling to create an "out of the box" conceptual experience. Resuscitation Theater, Abu Dhabi's first professional theater troupe directed by Maggie Hannan will present a fresh interpretation of T.S. Elliot's classic play "The Cocktail Party" as the dreamy Star Too Troupe, directed by Sol Abiad, will present an original piece entitled 'Who Did it?".

Later that evening Hollywood legend Michael Winslow, most famous for his role as Sgt. Motor-mouth Jones on Police Academy, will be presenting his first and exclusive comedy performance in Dubai! Winslow is referred to as the man of 10,000 voices and performed to sold out crowds at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has been both seen and heard in hundreds of movies.

Day 4 is the final and most active day at the festival as it presents workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings in English and Arabic with special guest Iranian-American poet Bahareh Amidi, respected poet Ali Matar Al Mazrouei of RAK TV and renown Arab poet Mohammed Al Mulla whose poetry has been the lyrics of over 14 famous songs that were produced in cooperation with great Artists such as Mohammad Abdo, Rashid Al Majid, Nawal, George Wasoof and may other well known artists. The final festival day will also include a charity event for children with special needs and a music concert on The Burj Steps featuring some of the UAE's best talent to close this festival. Headlining this year's concert will be soul singing sensation Hamdan Al Abri.

"Arts festivals tend to open both audience and artists' minds to the possibilities of art. The sheer diversity of talent represented here is sure to amaze our audience for years to come. We are providing a platform for these artists to start a dialogue with their audience and to take the first steps towards shaping an industry for local artists" says producer Ali Al Sayed.

The Dubomedy Arts School has been offering courses in comedy, body percussion and tap dance since 2008. The tri-yearly semesters end in student performances, often the first time many of the performers have been on stage. This year, these performances will be incorporated into the much larger umbrella of the Dubomedy International Performing Arts Festival and through this, hopes to reach a larger audience. For more information and the full Festival schedule please visit www.dipaf.com or call 04 374 6789.