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Abu Dhabi's Rooftop Rhythms poetry night looks to expand

  |  September 17, 2013

Poet Farah Chamma performs at the Rooftop Rhythms event at the Hilton Capital Grand Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Picture courtesy James Simmons
Poet Farah Chamma performs at the Rooftop Rhythms event at the Hilton Capital Grand Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Picture courtesy James Simmons

Just a year and half after its inception, the monthly Rooftop Rhythms poetry recital has grown to become one of Abu Dhabi's most popular nightlife happenings.

Now, such has been its success, its organisers are considering launching another poetry reading night in Dubai, as well as a new Arabic-language version in Abu Dhabi.

Dorian Paul Rogers, a teacher who originally hails from Georgia in the US,  began the show in March 2012 at the Cafe Arabia in Muroor.

It’s popularity meant it soon outgrew the venue. These days the show, at which amateurs read their own compositions live on stage, regularly attracts around 200 people to the the Hilton Capital Grand Hotel (formerly Rocco Forte hotel.)

“The high attendance is just a residual effect of the quality experience we provide our supporters,” claims Rogers.

“The goal is to entertain and inspire in a positive and classy atmosphere. We involve the crowd with music and fun activities, but the big draw is the talented performers of Abu Dhabi.”

One of these performers is Kwame Busia, an architect and music producer from the UK.

“Rooftop Rhythms is an excellent platform for emerging and existing talent in Abu Dhabi,” he explains.

“At shows like this you begin to get a glimpse at how much creativity there is in Abu Dhabi and you realise we're just scratching the surface.”

Another regular attendee is Amandeep Bhangu, a television reporter for BBC World and Al Jazeera English.

She says: “Rooftop Rhythms challenges stereotypes about the UAE by proving not only is there a wealth of creative talent in the region, but also an insatiable appetite for quality arts and cultural events.”

The next Rooftop Rhythms takes place at the Hilton Capital Grand Hotel on Airport Road on Friday, September 27. For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/rooftoprhythms