SISTERS GRIMM PRESENT
“50 FOR 50”
AT DUBAI OPERA FROM 29 NOVEMBER TO 14 DECEMBER 2021
AN IMMERSIVE MULTI-MEDIA EXHIBITION
FEATURING ART AND MUSIC BY GRAMMY-NOMINATED COMPOSER & PAINTER
ELLA SPIRA MBE
TO MARK THE NATION’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
This winter 2021, Dubai Opera will host 50 For 50, an immersive, multi-media exhibition featuring 50 landscape paintings of the UAE by Ella Spira MBE, who resides between Dubai and London. The art series, painted by Spira, a Grammy-nominated composer and painter, is a legacy honoring the United Arab Emirates’ 50 years of formation, embracing its rich history, natural beauty and unique achievements.
50 For 50 is the culmination of Spira’s travels across the UAE, with the paintings created in situ over the past 18 months. The artworks are intended to draw awareness to the fragile environment and to inspire protection of the natural landscape. The series depicts the story of a land which has not only inspired unity and collaboration within its community but has also been dramatically transformed by industry.
The exhibition offers an emotional, visual and audio journey, and every painting has a unique bespoke score composed by Spira, featuring sounds of Emirati life. The vocals of Emirati singers, Shamma Hamdan and Don Abdullah are blended into music adorned with sounds from the natural world of creatures which are unique to the region, including the calls of Arabian Collared Kingfisher and the Sheik’s Peacock, the soaring chorus of cicadas in the mountains in Kalba and the sounds of Arab horses in the sand and seas of Saadiyat Beach, moments which Spira was privileged to be invited to share with local people.
The 50 For 50 experience culminates with the world premiere screening of the Sisters Grimm film, ‘Daughters of the Wind Overture’, Directed by Jhenyfy Muller, based on a story by Stephen Powell, which features all 50 paintings sharing Dubai Opera’s Main Stage alongside former Royal Ballet ballerina Pietra De Mello-Pittman, co-founder of Sisters Grimm, and singers DB Gad (50 FOR 50 co-composer) and Madyan Hamza, singing in Arabic and English.
With the aim of showcasing a hidden side of the UAE, 50 For 50 will tour internationally following its premiere in Dubai, including to London and New York.
50 For 50 at Dubai Opera is curated by British theatrical production company Sisters Grimm, who came to the UAE in 2019 to develop a new Arab world show. The global pandemic saw them pivot their planned production and since then they have been developing new and innovative ways to present their projects, which promote understanding and dialogue between cultures and communities.
Sisters Grimm was founded by Spira and Pietra De Mello-Pittman MBE in 2009, with the mission to produce work that is relevant, driven by equality and diversity and with social impact at its core.
Sisters Grimm has become renowned for shows which offer a unique and vibrant immersive experience, powered by an explosive fusion of live music, song, and dance. They have travelled the world working with collaborators from Ladysmith Black Mambazo in South Africa, world-renowned percussionists Olodumin in Brazil to Samurai warriors in Japan to tell new culturally themed and socially relevant stories.
Recognized as internationalists, the pair were awarded an MBE by His Royal Highness Prince Charles at Windsor Castle this month, for Services to International Trade and the Creative Industries. Spira and Mello-Pittman were honoured for a lifetime dedication to spotlighting and celebrating different cultures through art of the highest calibre and fostering cross-cultural understanding.
Ella Spira’s work includes award-winning, world-touring live musical theatre productions that have been featured at London’s Royal Variety Performance, Hampton Court Palace and Royal Albert Hall and performed in front of the Royal Family, as well as shows which have been acclaimed across the globe. She has also co-composed and produced world music videos with millions of YouTube hits as well as NFTs. Spira has already captured landscapes of countries including China, France, Indonesia, Brazil, Lapland, Albania, the UK, Russia and Portugal. Her Albania landscapes were recently presented to Prime Minister Edi Rama and included in Prof. Ferid Hudhri‘s Albanians in World Art Encyclopedia.
50 FOR 50
29 November to 14 December 2021
10am to 10pm
For further information please contact: Katherine Camps Kilgour at Bright Media:
07958 649502 or email [email protected]