Abu Dhabi Festival debuts ZigZag in partnership with the American Ballet Theatre

ZigZag is co-commissioned by ADF and celebrates the legendary career of Tony Bennett, using his songs and his visual artwork to highlight the authentic humanity of his vocal performances

Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo

Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo

Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF) has partnered with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) to present the World Premiere of ZigZagat the David H. Koch Theatre in New York from the 26th to 31st October, 2021.

ZigZag is co-commissioned by ADF and celebrates the legendary career of Tony Bennett, using his songs and his visual artwork to highlight the authentic humanity of his vocal performances.

H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: “It gives me great joy to take part in American Ballet Theatre’s gala performance this year, and to support the work of the unparalleled company. Abu Dhabi Festival’s collaborations with ABT have created remarkable performances, and we are proud to continue our partnership with a new work by renowned choreographer Jessica Lang. Her exciting choreography, set to the music of the legendary Tony Bennett, advances our mission to bring new works of performing arts to audiences across the world.”

ZigZag is choreographed by Jessica Lang and is set to 11 songs by Bennett, with Kevin McKenzie as Artistic Director. A work of 14 dancers, ZigZag will feature costumes by Wes Gordon (creative director for Carolina Herrera), scenery by Emmy and Tony Award® winner Derek McLane, and lighting by Nicole Pearce. ZigZag will debut at ABT’s first New York Fall season since 2019.

Aside from the curtain-raiser scheduled for 26th October, ZigZag will have four more performances from 28th to 31st October. The co-commissioning by Abu Dhabi Festival will add more depth, intensity, and flair to the production and increase awareness about the phenomenal work of ABT in the region.

Speaking on the occasion, Jessica Lang, choreographer of ZigZag, commented: “My approach to the play is to deliver a balance between physical intricacy and visual simplicity, to convey art as entertainment, and to highlight the physically brilliant range of the American Ballet Theatre dancers.” 

American Ballet Theatre is considered one of the world’s greatest dance companies, revered as a national treasure since its founding in 1939. It was formed with a vision to create and present the great repertoire of classical dancing, through exciting performances and educational programmes of the highest quality, presented to the widest possible audiences.


About Abu Dhabi Festival

Founded in 2004, Abu Dhabi Festival was initially a small arts and culture platform that soon graduated to one of the world’s premiere annual events. Held in the UAE, it celebrates artistic and creative excellence, and promotes the role of music and the arts in bringing nations closer. It also promotes Abu Dhabi as a leading global hub for creativity and as an Emirati beacon for respect and tolerance.

Strengthened by a growing network of 30 international partners, the festival brings audiences together each year to enjoy world premieres and exclusive commissions in the UAE and around the world.

For more information, please visit www.abudhabifestival.ae 

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

Founded in 1996, ADMAF is one of the oldest, not-for-profit cultural organisations in the Arabian Gulf. Pioneering new artistic practices, it seeks to deepen global cross-cultural dialogue and inspire a renewed interest in the creativity of the UAE and Arab world. Often in partnership with leading national and international institutions, it delivers multidisciplinary initiatives for people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities through the Abu Dhabi Festival, year-round youth platforms and community programmes.

For more information, please visit www.admaf.org 

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