x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

World Stage in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has announced the line-up for its year-long World Stage series of performing arts at the Cultural Foundation.

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has announced the line-up for its year-long World Stage series of performing arts at the Cultural Foundation. The good news is that they are all free of charge, except for a performance by Joaquin Cortes, who is definitely worth paying for.

The series kicks off in lavish style with Tomatito, the world-famous Spanish flamenco guitarist. Born Jose Fernandez Torres, he became a flamenco sensation when he was discovered at an early age by the guitar-playing legend Paco de Lucia. He has produced six award-winning albums and has won the Latin Grammy for his album Aguadulce.

Cortes is the most famous flamenco dancer in the world. He is also well known for once having dated the supermodel Naomi Campbell. He started dancing at the age of 12 and joined the Ballet Nacional of Spain as a teenager and set up his own dance company in 1992. In this latest performance, entitled Cale, he will mix the essence of six works he has performed over the past 20 years.

Salar Nader's father bought him a tabla, a percussion instrument, from Northern India when he was a young boy. He has not stopped playing it since, performing with the famous Afghan singer Ustad Mawassh when he was only 11 years old. Nader was born in Germany but is of Afghan descent and has a deep passion for Afghan classical musical traditions. He is also famous for his musical collaboration with the DJ Chebi Sabbah, who is legendary on the Asian underground scene.

The Malian guitarist Habib Koite is one of Africa's most famous musicians. He had no formal training but learnt to play the guitar by watching his parents. He has played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Womad and the World Roots Festival. His music is described as "infectious and high energy" by the concert organisers.

The classical Indian dance choreographer was born in London to Bangladeshi parents. Khan started dancing at the age of seven and then trained under the great kathak dancer and teacher Sri Pratap Pawar. He launched his own company in 2000 and has collaborated with the artist Anish Kapoor and the writer Hanif Kureishi.

Naples-born Enzo Avitabile is one of Italy's most renowned and original musical stars. He has worked with, among others, James Brown and Tina Turner. He is a Unicef goodwill ambassador and will bring his mix of energetic beats and ancient rhythms to the stage. Watch for details about the Joaquin Cortes concert at Emirates Palace: prices have yet to be confirmed. For tickets to the other concerts, please call 02 621 5300 or go to www.adach.ae MUST SEE: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang We're not sure what F1 happening we're more excited about: our much-sought-after invite to the Amber Lounge party, or the free screening of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one of our favourite childhood movies, as part of Yasalam's Cinema By The Sea line-up. The total nerds in us are voting for the latter, a musical about two kids who travel to Vulgaria with their inventor dad (Dick Van Dyke) and their companion, Truly Scrumptious, in a flying car. In our minds, the 1968 movie was as faded as our pair of Seventies brown corduroys, but our research reminded us why it's worth revisiting "our fine four-fendered friend": the screenplay was co-written by Roald Dahl, based on a children's book by Ian Fleming (yes, the James Bond Ian Fleming). Jolly good fun.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang plays on the Corniche beach, Saturday, October 24, at 7pm, followed by (the original) The Italian Job at 9pm. It wraps up a run of other double bills screening at the same times: Herbie Fully Loaded and Days Of Thunder (October 22), plus Cars and Talladega Nights (October 23). DOWNLOADS: The Dog Who Came In From The Cold, by Alexander McCall Smith There are few more soothing ways to end a day than to download the latest episode of Alexander McCall Smith's new online novel. The author writes a chapter a day, in the manner of a latter-day Charles Dickens, which is read by Andrew Sachs. The story continues the adventures of the inhabitants of Corduroy Mansions, a fictional block of flats in Pimlico, London - among them, William French, a wine merchant with longings for romance, and his dog, Freddie de la Hay - along with a cast of other characters, including the odious Oedipus Snark, MP ("the only nasty Liberal Democrat"). It's whimsical, charming, funny and thoughtful. Download via iTunes or read online at www.telegraph.co.uk

Horchata, by Vampire Weekend New York's Vampire Weekend, quite possibly the cleverest band in rock, have started the build-up to the release of their second album with this free (no-strings) download of its fantastic opening track. It's three happy minutes of marimbas, strings and the usual Afrobeat-inspired rhythms, and an indication that we can expect more of the inventive, cerebral pop that made their self-titled debut one of the critics' best albums of 2008. Contra, is scheduled for release in January: www.vampireweekend.com

GOLD STAR FOR SERVICE: Salma at Etihad, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi We almost forgot how comforting it is to deal with old-school travel agents. Until we were lucky enough to be served by Salma one night at the Etihad office in Marina Mall. No request is too small for Salma. F1 tickets? "No problem, my dear," she said, promising she'd call us on our mobile the moment a new batch became available. While we were booking a ticket home for Christmas, Salma called the Etihad Guest number herself to sort out a problem with our points and remained unflappable as three people hovered for service. And since we were uncertain about our dates for a trip to Beirut, Salma gave us her mobile number and got back to us right away when we called over the weekend. She booked our dates, allowing us to come in and pay in person later. From now on, we won't fly anywhere without her.

MAKE IT YOURSELF: Tom yum kung We were mightily impressed by the subtle flavourings of Chef Thanida Amornvatin's tom yum kung prawn soup. The chef from Bangkok, who was visiting Abu Dhabi's Le Méridien hotel for its Thai Food Festival last week, was kind enough to provide us with her recipe. INGREDIENTS: 6 giant fresh water prawns, about 100 grams each 200 grams boiled mushrooms, halved 5-6 hot chillies, lightly crushed

5 slices matured galangal 2 stems lemon grass, cut diagonally 2-3 Kaffir lime leaves, torn 2 coriander, cut into short length 3 tbsp fish sauce 1/4 cup lime juice 3 cups tom yum stock METHOD: Wash, shell and de-vein the prawns, removing the heads but keeping the tails intact. Bring a pot of tom yum stock to the boil. Add lemon grass, galangal and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Then add the prawns, followed by the mushrooms, and boil until cooked (about five minutes). Season with lime juice, chillies and fish sauce. Sprinkle with Kaffir lime leaves and coriander. Turn off the heat. Transfer to serving bowl.