Hadid to take centre stage at Abu Dhabi Festival

Hadid-designed Pavilion will play host to leading Arab performers

A voluminous ribbon swirls within the room
A voluminous ribbon swirls within the room

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A pavilion designed by ‘starchitect’ Zaha Hadid will play host to a number of leading Arab performers during the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011.

The pavilion is a touring venue that will showcase dynamic cross-cultural projects under the theme Arab Creativity in the Architecture of the Future. To date, the Pavilion has also made appearances at the Manchester International Festival and Holland Festival.

An intimate venue with a capacity of just 200, the Pavilion was designed to guarantee an acoustically superior environment for each performance experience. The installation takes the form of an extraordinary chamber music hall.

A voluminous ribbon swirls within the room, carving out a spatial and visual response to the intricate musical compositions being performed. As the ribbon careens above the performer, cascades into the ground and wraps around the audience, the room is sculpted into a fluid space.

“We are thrilled to host the Zaha Hadid Pavilion at the Emirates Palace as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2011,” said Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, which is taking place from March 22 to 29.

“Together with our international partners, we have developed this beautiful organic space with the express aim of providing a place where people can come together from diverse backgrounds and cultures to explore the breadth and depth of the arts in all its forms,” she added.

Co-commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Festival with partners Manchester International Festival and Holland Festival, the Pavilion is described as “the perfect union of sound and space”.

“Within this beautiful structure we hope to explore the legacies of Arab art and music, and reflect on its power to inspire future generations of young Arab artists, poets and musicians. Our commitment to preserving our own musical heritage will be reinforced this year with the beginning of a long-term project to archive our traditions and build a library of written work that will document our history for future generations,” said Kanoo.

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